Clare Boothe Luce Scholarships Provide Funding, Inspiration for Stonehill Women in STEM Disciplines

December 13, 2016


A $300,000 grant from the single most significant provider of private scholarship support for women in science, mathematics and engineering – the Henry Luce Foundation’s  Clare Boothe Luce Program – serves two important roles. It is not only a key source of scholarship funding for women at Stonehill who are studying in those fields, but also it serves as a source of inspiration.

 Recent recipients, such as Olivia Roy ’18, are able to see how the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program has helped previous Stonehill students blaze paths to success. For some, the inspiration may be Jen Burge, ’02, who parlayed her CBL Scholarship into a career at Facebook as a software engineer. For others, their visions of what’s possible are fueled by Ashley (Horan) Palumbo, ’15, whose CBL Scholarship laid the foundation for her acceptance into the Ph.D. program in Planetary Geosciences at Brown University.

 The $300,000 grant funds six scholarships and is the second received by Stonehill. The first came in 2002 in the amount of $101,244, which at the time was designated for helping female students majoring in computer science. The first recipient was Burge, who was also the College’s first student to earn a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship with a three-year stipend that allowed her to earn a master’s degree in computer science at Duke University.

 “This is a significant and generous grant,  [It] reflects belief in the rigor of the College’s STEM programs. It also allows us to expand and strengthen the work we do in classrooms and in labs, and especially in encouraging young women to enter and succeed in the STEM fields.”
 Professor Ralph Bravaco, founder of the College’s Computer Science Program.

Support That Opens Many Doors

 Roy was recently accepted into a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). This past summer she conducted research alongside faculty at the University of Maryland and had the unique opportunity to develop new relationships with faculty mentors at an R1 university.

“Thanks to the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation, Stonehill College’s CBL Program is allowing students to further their science and engineering education through acceptance in competitive programs and the achievement of unique learning experiences.”
 Marie Kelly, Director of corporate and foundations relations at the college.

 Ashley (Horan) Palumbo, ’15Since its first grants in 1989, the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship Program has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering. Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, who founded Time magazine, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing the program, she sought “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics and engineering.

Increasing enrollment in STEM programs has been a significant focus at Stonehill since the College introduced its 10-year plan, Attaining the Summit, in 2005. STEM enrollment has greatly increased in the past several years, particularly with the opening of the state-of-the-art Thomas and Mary Shields Science Center in 2009.