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Fisk Johnson and SC Johnson have announced a gift of $500,000 to support science education at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The donation is the largest single gift to the College of Natural and Health Sciences at UW-Parkside.
In recognition of the gift, UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford and her Leadership Cabinet approved naming the newly established science learning space in Greenquist Hall, the SC Johnson Integrated Science Lab.
“This high-quality lab space will enhance educational experiences for local students and provide students with a collaborative environment,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “We’re thrilled the new SC Johnson Integrated Science Lab will help support future science professionals who are better prepared for the workforce, and will assist with meeting future workforce demands of the region.”
Chancellor Ford called the gift “transformational,” citing a continued partnership between the university and SC Johnson. “The strength and vibrancy of our communities depend on access to quality education and access to meaningful career opportunities,” Ford said. “SC Johnson has provided rewarding careers for hundreds of UW-Parkside graduates and internship opportunities for our students to enhance their educational experience, and helped facilitate community discussions that shape and create an engaged educational experience offered by the university.”
The investment will support the establishment of industry-quality instrumentation within the lab that is essential for high-level science education. The instrumentation, combined with course work and undergraduate research, will prepare students for the professional environment they will encounter upon graduation.
The number of students enrolling in science and health majors at UW-Parkside has grown to more than 30 percent in the past five years. Today, there are more declared majors in the UW-Parkside College of Natural and Health Sciences than in any other college at the university equal to one-third of all students enrolled at UW-Parkside.
For decades, students from the UW-Parkside pre-med and pre-health programs have succeeded at medical schools and other professional health schools at a rate that far exceeds national averages. Close to 90 percent of UW-Parkside pre-med graduates are accepted to the medical schools of their choice, more than twice the national average.
“The generous support of SC Johnson is an investment in our learning community and the communities of southeast Wisconsin,” said Dr. Rob Ducoffe, UW-Parkside Provost. “The added financial resources will enable UW-Parkside to sustain and deepen our commitment to excellence in science education.”
The collaborative design of the SC Johnson Integrated Science Lab supports specific areas of science education and cross-disciplinary work for undergraduate research, and attracts projects and applied learning opportunities from area industry. Dr. Emmanuel Otu, dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, offered his appreciation for the significant gift: “I speak on behalf of all UW-Parkside faculty in the College of Natural and Health Sciences when I say thank you to SC Johnson for believing in the value of science education here at UW-Parkside.”
A formal naming and lab-opening ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, at 4:15 p.m. in Greenquist Hall on the UW-Parkside campus. Lab tours and equipment demonstrations will be available at that time. For more information regarding the naming and lab-opening ceremony, contact Alyssa Williams at (262) 595-2189.