“For someone whose parents were first-generation Americans with high school educations, public education was critically important,” said Ellen Pikitch, Ph.D., professor and executive director, Institute for Ocean Conservation Science in the Stony Brook School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS). “My sister and I went to public schools and public colleges, and both of us have had very successful careers.”
To “pay it forward and demonstrate our gratitude for and support of public education,” she added, Pikitch, along with her sister, husband, and mother, recently established the Pikitch Family Endowed Student Research Award to recognize outstanding research proposals and encourage the career advancement of graduate students in SoMAS.
“It’s getting harder and harder to afford an education and to get funding for research in the sciences,” said Pikitch. “We wanted to provide the same opportunity we had to other young people, so we established the award here at Stony Brook because it is a great public institution for both education and research.”
Pikitch said the family had been considering the kind of legacy they would like to leave and were motivated to establish the endowment because of the Simons Challenge, which would match dollar-for-dollar the amount the Pikitch family contributed. The annual award will be conferred upon a full-time graduate student in SoMAS, and applications are now being accepted.
For more information on the Pikitch Family Endowed Student Research Award, visit:http://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/education/grad_pikitch.html