Representatives of The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) — a chemical industry-wide program established by AIChE, the American Chemistry Council, Chemours Company, and the HBCU Week Foundation — have announced the election of new leaders for 2023.
Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO of Dow, will become FOSSI’s Chair, succeeding Mark Vergnano, former CEO of Chemours, who has led the initiative’s strategic development since FOSSI’s launch in 2020. Additionally, Mark Costa, an AIChE member and CEO of Eastman Chemical Company, will serve as FOSSI’s Vice Chair.
FOSSI provides $40,000 scholarships to students pursuing preferred degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As part of the experience, scholars receive leadership training, mentorship, and internship opportunities provided by FOSSI’s sponsor organizations.
More than 60 organizations have signed on as FOSSI sponsors, and have pledged more than $30 million in scholarship funds to date. These funds support nearly 300 current scholars, with more than 260 additional scholarships funded for future scholars.
As FOSSI’s new Vice Chair, Mark Costa says that the initiative “is clearing pathways to ensure that the workforce of the future includes STEM talent from traditionally underrepresented groups.” He adds, “I am honored to have been elected as Vice Chair — in service with other leaders — as we continue the mission of extending the diverse STEM talent pipeline to grow and strengthen innovation capabilities.”
In addition to Costa, other AIChE members elected to the FOSSI Advisory Board include AIChE’s CEO and Executive Director Darlene Schuster, Bruce Chinn (Chevron Phillips Chemical Company), Erin Kane (AdvanSix), and Daryl Roberts (DuPont). The newly elected Advisory Board members will serve through 2025.
Learn more at www.futureofstemscholars.org.
About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at www.aiche.org.