FVSU chemistry student earns $25,000 scholarship

June 4, 2013 – Fort Valley State University student Rena Ingram is continuing to set the mark high for her fellow peers. Recently, the rising senior received a $25,000 United Merck Science Initiative Scholarship from The United Negro College Fund and Merck Company Foundation. The funding will pay for the FVSU Wildcat’s room and board, tuition and fees. Only 15 students nationwide received the scholarship. Additionally,FVSU’s chemistry department will be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant from the Merck.

“I’m really excited, and I can’t give credit to anyone but God, because I didn’t think in a million years that I would get this scholarship,” said Ingram.

Collaboration between the United Negro College Fund, The Merck Company Foundation and Merck Global Diversity Inclusion resulted in The United Merck Science Initiative. The group’s goal is to increase the number of African-Americans holding Ph.D.’s within the sciences. Every year, they offer 37 scholarships to outstanding African-American students and postdoctoral researchers.

To qualify for the scholarship, a student must matriculate full-time, as a junior in a biological, chemical sciences or engineering program. The student is required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, and must hold U.S. citizen or permanent residency.

“I was referred to the scholarship by the director of the American Chemical Society, who believed I qualified for the award,” said Ingram.

The 21-year-old Augusta, Ga. native currently holds a perfect 4.0 average as an FVSUchemistry student, with a forensics concentration. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, and is the 2012-2013 chief justice for FVSU’s Student Government Association. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Ingram will hold office as SGA’s vice president. The scholar is also a member of several honors societies, including Beta Kappa Chi, Pi Gamma Mu, and serves as Alpha Lambda Delta’s president.

“Honestly, when I got the call, I was leaving the old student center, and missed it,” said Ingram. “I got a voicemail that said I won the scholarship. I was the only one from Fort Valley to received it.”

After she graduates in May 2014, Ingram wants to attend graduate school to earn her doctorate degree in bioanalytical chemistry. She wants to attend one of four schools: Texas A&M University, the University of Kansas, Emory University or the University of Georgia.

The FVSU student believes you can do anything you put your mind to with a powerful work ethic. “I plan to be a forensic scientist for the federal government, both in the field and the lab,” said Ingram. She also stated, “Once I retire from active work, I plan to become a professor at an accredited HBCU, to pass on knowledge gained throughout my career.”

For information about additional internship and career opportunities, contact the FVSU’sCareer and Alumni Services at (478) 825-6347.




Contact:Christina D. Milton, writerMarketing and Communications(478) 825-6319, miltonc@fvsu.edu