Colby Community College sophomore Grace Jenkins is one of eight regional scholars selected for the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship at Fort Hays State University. Jenkins accepted her renewable $14,000 award on April 5 at a ceremony on the FHSU campus.
The program offers scholarships to undergraduates and graduates majoring in a STEM-content area interested in becoming math or science teachers in a high-need school district.
Dr. Jeffrey Sekavec is the biology program director and Noyce site director at CCC. In class, he noticed a lot of potential in Jenkins and encouraged her to do more with the sciences.
"She wanted to pursue a childhood dream and started spending extra time in the sciences and volunteering at the Noyce activities on campus," Sekavec said. "It's great to see such an amazing person become part of a program specifically designed for the molding of future leaders of STEM education in America."
A graduate of Cyprus High School in Magna, Utah, Jenkins is a math education major and plays on the Trojans softball team. She also works as a biology tutor.
"I would like to thank Dr. Sekavec for never letting me give up on my dreams and helping me continue my education at Fort Hays University," she said.
The program calls upon award recipients to work two years at a high-needs junior high or high school for every year the scholarship is awarded. After earning her degree at Fort Hays State, Jenkins plans to return to Utah and teach high school math.
Robert Noyce (1927-1990) was a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor (1957) and Intel (1968). He invented the integrated circuit, or silicon microchip, which revolutionized the computer industry and gave Silicon Valley its name.