Scholarship aid and faculty support afford us the means to reach deep into a talent pool that spans the nation, crosses economic and cultural barriers, and represents the best and the brightest hope for the future.
World-class faculty attract world-class students, as well as major sources of research funding. This powerful combination is the key to realizing our goals. The success of The Rensselaer Plan 2024 – indeed the future of Rensselaer – relies on building a well-funded research enterprise.
Isermann Gift Stems Drug Discovery
Take for example the exciting work and research that the support for both students and faculty has been allowed for by the generosity of Howard Isermann, developer of sunscreen, and a member of the Rensselaer Class of 1942. Jonathan Dordick, the Vice President for Research, is also the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer, and the prestigious endowed position is one of the reasons he was drawn to a career at Rensselaer. Dordick’s research is focused on drug discovery and bioengineering, and he led a team of researchers at Rensselaer to develop a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections.
[Howard Isermann] was one of the major reasons why I came here. Jonathan Dordick,
Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
“I’m the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and I actually know Howard Isermann,” says Jonathan Dordick. “Quite frankly, it was one of the major reasons why I came here. I met Howard prior to accepting the position here at Rensselaer, and I saw in him a true love for the institution, a desire to see the institution become even greater than it is, and that he was putting his money where his thoughts are and where his dreams were.”
Isermann also supports students working alongside faculty such as Dordick through the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Graduate Student Support Fund. This fund has supported more than 200 Rensselaer students since its inception in 1986. Doctoral student in chemical engineering Pranav Pandharipande ’16 is able to benefit from his support by working alongside world renowned biophysical chemist, George Makhatadze, the chaired professor in the biocomputation and bioinformatics research constellation.
“It was the Isermann fellowship’s funding that enabled me to get started with Dr. George Makhatadze, financially. Had I not been an Isermann Fellowship recipient, I would have never gotten the opportunity to work in different labs and explore my research interests. Today I’m performing fundamental research in the field of Protein volumetrics, and getting an opportunity to perform a very essential research in this field, and it is because of the Isermann Fellowship,” says Pranav Pandharipande ’16.
Undergraduate student Malaney Young ’15 is a chemical engineering major, working within the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Young, who has big plans to change the world, is also the recipient of the Barbara W. and William J. Raymond ’60 Scholarship.
I hope to make breakthroughs in science through medicinal research, and to become a professor one day because my professors and teachers are the reason why I am where I am today. Malaney Young ’15
“In the future I hope to obtain a Ph.D. in chemical engineering back in California,” says Malaney Young ’15. “I want to make a huge difference in this world, and maybe even win a Nobel Prize in my future (even though that is a big dream!) I hope to make breakthroughs in science through medicinal research, and to become a professor one day because my professors and teachers are the reason why I am where I am today. I am passionate about education and I want to be able to share every piece of knowledge I obtain with someone who I know it will inspire.”
Did you know?
- At Rensselaer, more than 90% of our students receive some kind of financial aid.
- Yet we are only able to meet 75% of students’ financial need. Because of this financial aid need gap, we run the risk of losing talented students to other schools that can provide a more comprehensive financial aid package. Gifts to support scholarships help us close this gap and make a difference in the lives of our students.
Make a Gift, Make a Difference
Gifts toward scholarships, fellowships, and faculty support help us attract and retain the brightest students and professors, while at the same time, make a difference in the lives of our people. There are a variety of ways in which you can support both students and faculty at Rensselaer.