College of Engineering promotes campaigns for 2020 #GivingTuesday


By Mariah Chuprinski

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Engineering invites alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff and students to celebrate the power of giving back as part of #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, Dec. 1. This year, #GivingTuesday donors can choose from four engineering programs to support.

Observed each year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is a fundraising event meant to encourage generosity on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Penn State has a long history of participating in #GivingTuesday and this year is promoting more than 125 different causes.

The College of Engineering’s campaigns support the General Scholarship Fund, Engineering Jump Start, the Engineering Leadership Development program in Penn State’s School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs and Engineers Without Borders.

Gifts can be made to the College of Engineering’s #GivingTuesday campaigns starting at 6:55 p.m. — or 18:55 in military time, a nod to the year of Penn State's founding — on Nov. 30 until midnight on Dec. 1. Below is some additional information about the four campaigns.

General Scholarship Fund

The General Scholarship Fund supports the financial needs of students enrolled in one of the College of Engineering’s 45 undergraduate and 57 graduate degree options through scholarship support. The Scholarship Fund helps offset academic expenses for students who do not meet eligibility criteria for other scholarships and who may have experienced a hardship, with the ultimate goal of helping them finish their degree.

The average student in the College of Engineering has a financial need of $11,000, and gifts to the Scholarship Fund help offset that amount by an average of nearly $3,000. The aid distributed by the fund ranges from $500 to $10,000.

To honor the 125th anniversary of the College of Engineering, the development council — a volunteer board committed to advancing the college’s priorities through advocacy and philanthropy — has established a matching gift fund to benefit student scholarships. Contributions made to the General Scholarship Fund on #GivingTuesday will be matched two-to-one through available funds created by the development council, tripling the impact of a single gift. Additionally, donors who gift $125 or more will receive a special anniversary recognition pin.

Learn more about the Scholarship Fund and give on Dec. 1 here.

Engineering Jump Start

Engineering Jump Start aims to improve the retention and graduation rates of Penn State engineering students through a four-week academic enhancement program held over the summer.

With a focus on underrepresented students and those attending a Penn State Commonwealth Campus, the program provides rising sophomores with academic enrichment in calculus and physics, as well as professional development and community building opportunities.

Originally funded by the National Science Foundation and continued through the gifts of donors, Engineering Jump Start is offered to 50 rising sophomores from any Penn State campus at no cost. Gifts to Engineering Jump Start are crucial to sustain the program and help cover expenses such as faculty instructors, peer mentors and professional development and cohort-building activities.

Learn more about Engineering Jump Start and give on Dec. 1 here.

Engineering Leadership Development program

Engineering Leadership Development (ELD), a program housed within the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs, engages students in their engineering education while preparing them for leadership roles in a technical work environment.

ELD provides students with an understanding of individual, team and organizational leadership, global competencies and multicultural awareness, and innovation. With both undergraduate and graduate offerings, the program helps students develop the necessary leadership skills to excel in an engineering career. The ELD program continues to grow and will be expanding its global partnerships to include Germany, South Africa and Australia. Contributions to ELD will be used to build a fund that will assist in offsetting student international travel expenses once restrictions are lifted.

Learn more about the ELD program and give on Dec. 1 here.

Engineers Without Borders

The Penn State Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is a multidisciplinary group of undergraduate engineering students who strive to build a better world by helping communities meet their basic needs.

In 2018, Engineers Without Borders established a partnership with a community in Namutamba, Uganda that lacks clean water. Applying what they learned in the classroom, the students drafted engineering plans to install a pump, build a storage system and create a distribution system to bring water to the community.

A gift to Engineers Without Borders will allow student participants to purchase a high-quality electric hand pump and build a better storage and distribution system, enabling the Ugandan community to focus on working, going to school and bettering their lives — not walking long distances to reach water every day.

Learn more about Engineers Without Borders and give on Dec. 1 here.


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Megan Lakatos