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United States Steel Foundation grants $12,500 to create program fund

2/20/2007 —

Penn State Greater Allegheny has received a $12,500 grant from the United States Steel Foundation to create the United States Steel Program Fund for Engineering, Business and Technology Projects. The fund will support students and faculty in the development and execution of service-learning projects and internships that provide support to area non-profit organizations and businesses.

“We are grateful to the United States Steel Foundation for its continued support of the campus. This partnership will provide seed money to fund student–faculty–community collaborations that will help to ‘Make Life Better’ in our region,” said Chancellor Curtiss E. Porter. “This fund adds value to the academic experience and will help develop students’ social awareness and their outlook regarding social responsibility.”

Funding from the United States Steel Program Fund is available for spring, summer, and fall semester projects. Faculty grant co-authors Jeanna Cooper and Kathleen Taylor Brown will evaluate faculty mini-grant proposals for experiential education initiatives that focus on technology, business, or engineering. Typically, proposals will involve a classroom project that allows students to work with non-profit organizations to solve a problem or to enhance services.

A general fund will also be available for students and faculty requiring smaller grants to complete projects.  All projects will be publicized on the campus website and through media outlets. 

“Currently there are a number of campus–community partnerships that would benefit from funding,” said Dr. Margaret Signorella, director of Academic Affairs, and another grant co-author. “The campus recently added a new Civic and Community Engagement minor to our curriculum and students who are participating in United States Steel Program Fund projects will be encouraged to apply those credits toward earning this minor. This grant was instrumental in helping us obtain a University grant to fund a part-time program manager who will work with organizations to develop projects that provide experiences for students and provide benefits to area non-profits and businesses,” she said.

United States Steel Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., manufactures a wide variety of steel sheet, tubular and tin products; coke, and taconite pellets; and has a worldwide annual raw steel capability of 26.8 million net tons. U.S. Steel has several domestic primary steel operations, two seamless tubular mills, coke-making facilities, and iron ore mining and taconite pellet production facilities. U.S. Steel has steelmaking operations located in Slovakia and Serbia, participates in several joint ventures and is involved in a number of other businesses including transportation and real estate development. Guided by a new vision for its second century of business, U.S. Steel remains committed to making steel, its core focus for more than 100 years; strengthening its position in the global marketplace to remain world competitive; and building value for its stakeholders.

Penn State and U. S. Steel have a longstanding relationship. The company employs more than 150 Penn State alumni and the most notable alumnus is John Surma, Chairman and CEO.  The company’s Mon Valley Works—comprised of the Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, the Irvin Plant in West Mifflin and the Clairton Works in Clairton—is located in the heart of the Penn State Greater Allegheny’s educational service area.  The two organizations have collaborated on numerous Continuing Education programs over the years and many U. S. Steel employees and retirees along with members of their families have studied at the campus. In August 2003, Penn State McKeesport received a $75,000 grant from the U. S. Steel Foundation for its new Student Community Center. The gift helped fund the upper level concourse in the $5.5 million, 25,000-square-foot facility.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the campus at its current location. Penn State Greater Allegheny offers baccalaureate degrees in six disciplines and provides the first two years of instruction for more than 160 Penn State academic programs.  The campus also offers associate degrees, baccalaureate minors and certificate programs. For more information, contact Penn State Greater Allegheny at 412-675-9048.

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