BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Twenty-five University at Buffalo students
eyeing careers in Western New York will receive full scholarships
in 2012-13 through a program designed to retain university
graduates in the region.
The Western New York Prosperity Scholarship, which launched in
2009, promotes economic growth and sustainability by acquainting
entrepreneurial, civic-mind students with career opportunities in
local industries. The program is funded by the Prentice Family
This year's scholarship class is the largest and best prepared
yet, said Regina Toomey, UB senior associate vice provost for
Together, the new awardees will receive a total of about
$500,000 to cover their unmet costs of attending UB and to support
summer internships at some of the region's leading companies. The
students will also get access to mentoring, networking events and
other resources that help build professional skills.
"Many of our brightest, most ambitious students are devoted to
Western New York, and this scholarship gives them the opportunity
to understand the region's many career possibilities and how they
can make a future positive impact on these," said A. Scott Weber,
UB vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.
The Western New York Prosperity Scholarship is open to UB
students enrolled in engineering, biomedical sciences,
biotechnology and business administration. This year's recipients
range from a mechanical engineer with research interests in
renewable transportation technology to an MBA candidate who aspires
to improve trade relations between the U.S. and Canada at the
Profiles of this year's scholars are available at http://wnyprosperityscholars.buffalo.edu/pdfs/prosperityScholarsDirectory2012-13.pdf
The Prentice Family Foundation's investment in the 2012-13
scholars is expected to bring the organization's contributions to
the program to over $1 million, Toomey said.
She added that the scholarship complements other UB offerings
that cultivate students' professional skills, such as the
Entrepreneurship Academy, an undergraduate living and learning
community that will launch this fall. Academy members will learn
what it means to be an entrepreneur through coursework and
real-world projects --experiences that will position students well
to apply for the Prosperity Scholarship.
Past scholarship recipients have completed summer internships
with regional companies and organizations including GE, New Era
Cap, Milliken Research Associates, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
"As a scholarship recipient, you get a lot of opportunities
because you're exposed to leaders in Western New York, and the
leaders see you as having values and a mission that aligns with
what they want for the region," said Turner Gutmann, a former
Prosperity Scholar who has landed a full-time job as an executive
associate in M&T Bank's Customer Insights unit. "Doors open for
Gutmann, a 2012 UB MBA graduate, interned in 2011 at Life
Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company on Grand Island.
As a Mandarin-speaker, Gutmann helped the company analyze pricing
for products overseas, including in Asia. He also updated the look
and feel of the firm's online catalog.
The internship, along with networking events during the school
year, helped Gutmann develop a valuable professional network that
strengthened his commitment to finding a job locally.
"The scholarship experience shaped my thinking when I was
looking at jobs and opportunities," he said. "Staying in Western
New York became my first priority because I saw the value of my
network, which is a huge advantage."
Through activities that UB arranged for Prosperity Scholars,
Gutmann was able to meet UB President Satish K. Tripathi and build
a relationship with UB's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Gutmann even landed consulting work with Refulgent Software, an app
company, after talking with one of the founders at Innovate N'
Caffeinate, a networking reception that takes place several times
each semester at UB.
He credits Hadar Borden, administrative director of UB's
Undergraduate Academies and administrator for the scholarship
program, with creating unique opportunities for awardees to connect
with Western New York's leaders.
About the Western New York Prosperity Scholarship: http://wnyprosperityscholars.buffalo.edu
About the UB Entrepreneurship Academy for undergraduates: http://academy.buffalo.edu/learning/entrepreneur.php