Melissa Vernon, who enters Utah State University next fall, is the 2008 recipient of a Hach Scientific Foundation scholarship for aspiring high school chemistry teachers. Vernon, who graduates from Utah’s Mountain Crest High School this month, will receive $6,000 each academic year, for up to six years, during her undergraduate career.
“I am incredibly grateful for the educational opportunity that USU’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department has given me,” says Vernon. “I’m excited that the scholarship will one day allow me to help educate others.”
Utah State is among about 65 colleges and universities across the nation authorized by the Colorado-based foundation to administer the scholarship, says Steve Scheiner, head of USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The length of the Hach scholarship is intended to encourage students to pursue upper-level chemistry courses beyond those required for secondary school teaching.”
During high school, Vernon completed coursework in advanced placement biology and environmental science. She participated in marching band, jazz band and the Utah Festival Youth Symphony.
The Hach Scientific Foundation – pronounced “hawk” – was established in 1982 by Clifford and Kitty Hach, founders of The Hach Company. The foundation’s mission is to foster and support science and science education, and to make evident the interdependence between science education and the public.
Vernon is USU’s second Hach scholarship recipient. Utah State junior Nicole Brinck, a transfer student from Utah’s two-year Snow College, received the first scholarship in 2007. The foundation stipulates that USU can support two students at a time; additional scholarships will be awarded as the first recipients graduate.