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Two Local Firms Sponsor Minority Scholarships at UB

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: August 11, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Two locally owned professional design firms are offering scholarships for minority students who attend the University at Buffalo in the fields of architecture and engineering.

Wendel Duchscherer Architects & Engineers, P.C., and Watts Engineering & Architecture, P.C., cognizant of UB's leadership in both areas of study and actively involved in the Buffalo Public Schools' ongoing major reconstruction effort, wanted to create incentives for area students and thus formed the partnership with UB.

"As a business enterprise, we believe it is incumbent upon us to be a leader in the hiring of minorities and women," said Edward O. Watts, president of Watts Engineering and Architecture. "However, the availability of minority engineers and architects in the marketplace is very limited and we believe that providing these scholarships is another way of demonstrating our commitment to increasing the number of minorities in these professions."

Brian Carter, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, thanked the donors who saw a need in both the profession and the academy and were eager to address it. "We are extremely grateful for these scholarships that will support ably talented students while also helping to increase the diversity and focus of architecture in Buffalo."

Mark H. Karwan, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, noted that scholarships always add to the talent pool of the UB student body. "The commitment of two local firms demonstrates the importance of partnerships between local organizations and the university."

Wendel Duchscherer is providing a scholarship for the UB School of Architecture and Planning, while the Watts scholarship is designed for the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Each school may choose how to award the scholarship, which will cover full tuition. The scholarships may be awarded to one student for four years or to a new student each year for four years. If the award recipient is a freshman or sophomore, he or she will have an opportunity to apply for a summer internship at the architecture and engineering firms.

"We believe it is important to create opportunities for minority students in our own community," said architect Brian P. Brady, principal of Wendel Duchscherer. "These scholarships are an important step in making it possible for minorities to have a quality academic experience, and we want to help students achieve their dream to be a part of the architecture and engineering professions."

Both companies have a history of supporting minority causes and are actively involved with Buffalo-Area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM). Wendel Duchscherer has received the "Outstanding Industry Award" from the organization.

The scholarship programs are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2006. The application deadline for both scholarships is Jan. 1.

For further information about the Wendel Duchscherer Minority Scholarship in Architecture from the School of Architecture and Planning, contact Mehrdad Hadighi, chair of the architecture program, at (716) 829-3485 ext. 105, or by email at hadighi@ap.buffalo.edu.

For further information about the Watts Engineering and Architecture Undergraduate Scholarship from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, contact John E. Vanbenschoten, associate dean for undergraduate education, 410e Bonner Hall, North Campus, at (716) 645-2774 ext. 1130 or by fax: (716) 645-2495.