More than 200 students and teachers from nine area schools converged on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Wednesday for the fifth annual STEM Professions Day, where four students were awarded scholarships to pursue their college careers at Pitt-Johnstown. The event is designed to further advance the knowledge of the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and to promote interest in STEM-related careers.
During the event, four merit-based STEM scholarships were awarded to students who intend to begin their studies at Pitt-Johnstown next fall. All students who applied and were accepted into a STEM major were automatically considered for the scholarships, which are awarded to students who show strong potential for success in a STEM field. This year's recipients are Jeffrey Fisher, a senior at Conemaugh Township High School who plans to major in civil engineering technology and is the son of David and Amy Fisher; Evan Gretock, a senior at Johnstown Christian School who plans to major in civil engineering technology and is the son of Kim Struble; Zachary Pfeil, a senior at Bishop McCort High School who plans to major in computer science, and is the son of Raymond and Kimberly Pfeil; and Benjamin Pick, a senior at Chestnut Ridge High School who plans to major in the natural sciences and is the son of James and Rhonda Pick.
Members of the Pitt-Johnstown faculty led discussions about opportunities in the areas of computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Pitt-Johnstown’s instructor of physics David Willey, who has been featured on the National Geographic Channel and was a regular guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," conducted an interactive physics demonstration entitled "How Does a Thing Like That Work?". Additional presenters included Dr. James Bilitski, associate professor of computer science; Amy Miller, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology; Frank Smigla, assistant professor of computer science; and Joseph Wilson, instructor of mathematics.
STEM Professions Day is part of Pitt-Johnstown’s strategic effort to sustain and enhance partnerships with K-12 schools to promote science, technology, engineering, and math education in order to ensure that the United States remains an economic and technological leader of the global marketplace.
Pictured (left-to-right): Evan Gretok, Zachary Pfeil, Pitt-Johnstown Director of Admissions and Recruiting Therese Grimes, Jeffrey Fisher, and Benjamin Pick.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.