Missouri S&T – News & Events – Meet Some of Missouri S&T’s Early Kummer Vanguard Fellows


This fall, nearly 460 of the freshmen enrolling at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are the recipients of the inaugural Kummer Vanguard scholarships, and halfway through the program’s first semester and their freshman year of university, students gain knowledge value.

The program is one of many initiatives supported by a $ 300 million donation to Missouri S&T from June Kummer and her late husband, Fred S. Kummer. Each Kummer Vanguard Fellow receives between $ 1,000 and $ 3,000, along with targeted out-of-class meetings and activities designed to help them think more like entrepreneurs and innovators.

The gift from June and Fred Kummer, 1955 graduated from Missouri S&T. is the biggest gift ever made to a university in Missouri, public or private. It is also the fifth largest donation to a public institution in the country. The Kummers wanted their donation to spark more interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degrees among potential students and provide STEM students with ways to better understand the importance of innovation and innovation. entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs themselves, the Kummers created HBE Corp., which grew to become the world’s largest design-build company for medical and financial services, and then established a chain of more than 20 luxury hotels known as from Adam’s Mark Hotels & Resorts.

Timothy Proffitt, Kummer Vanguard Fellow, First Year Computer Science Student

“June and Fred’s vision was to inspire today’s exceptional high school students to become the innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and leaders of the future,” said Dr. Mo Dehghani, Chancellor of Missouri S&T. “These students benefit from scholarships and programs to help them become the tech-savvy innovators our country needs.”

This inaugural class of Kummer Fellows come from Canada and India as well as 20 US states and territories. As part of the program, they participate in a rotational program focused on entrepreneurship, undergraduate research, design and construction, leadership, and social awareness and engagement. Students meet weekly with faculty and staff to learn more about each area of ​​interest.

“During the Vanguard Research Series, students learn about the nature of research, what it is and why it is so important,” says Dr. Stephen Roberts, Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and COO from the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research, and Economic Development. “We give students insight into the research opportunities available to our students, and they hear from undergraduates who are currently involved in research on campus. “

Catalina Ortega, Kummer Vanguard Fellow, First Year Aerospace Engineering Student

Dr. Julie Semon, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, was one of the faculty members leading the Entrepreneurship stream, which took place during the first three weeks of classes. She says the entrepreneurship sessions focused on three cornerstones of entrepreneurship: thinking, creating value and collaborating.

“During these three weeks, students participated in networking events, interacted with a group of recent S&T alumni who have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit throughout their careers and played games. games, ”says Semon. “The segment ended by linking entrepreneurship to the other four segments of the Vanguard Scholars program. “

In their own words

A few of S&T’s Kummer Vanguard fellows shared their thoughts on the program and their experiences so far.

“The program has been fun. I love to make friends and spend time with them during Kummer Nights. I love the activities we do during the presentations. One evening we had to make creative boxes and it was fun to see what the different groups had come up with. It’s the most fun being able to spend time with friends at night.

Matt Minatra, Kummer Vanguard Fellow, First Year Computer Science Student

Tim proffitt from Florissant, Missouri, a freshman in computer science with a passion for game design. He hopes to one day design his own successful video game.

“The Kummer Vanguard program is beneficial for people who want to go beyond their careers. It teaches us skills that newly graduated students would like to know. The program is made up of a very lively group of people. We very rarely get bored when we are all together every Wednesday. You can ask any Kummer Vanguard Fellow, and they’ll all have the same opinion about the program. Overall, it’s wisdom with a pinch of fun. I am very honored and excited to see how the years progress.

Catalina ortega from St. Robert, Missouri, a freshman aerospace engineering student who plans to join the military and use her skills for innovation and improved safety.

“I am very grateful for the program so far. The scholarship is generous and the learning opportunity is greatly appreciated. I expect future generations of Kummer Fellows to have even greater experience in learning how to become a leader of the future. I hope to make the world a better place by helping to provide a safer internet for people to learn, communicate and do business.

Katherine Johnston, Kummer Vanguard Scholar, first year in Civil and Architectural Engineering

Matt Minatra from Cordova, Tennessee, a freshman in computer science. He plans to add a second major in Computer Engineering and is considering graduate studies in his future.

“I am more than grateful for the generosity of the Kummers and so many other alumni. This program gives us an outlet for our creativity and gives us insight into work and life after college. It really shows us what is possible and provides all the encouragement you could possibly need to follow your dreams and ideas. I came to this school because minors have really changed the world and I want to change. I want to leave my mark on the world. I am passionate about renewable energy and finding ways to reduce our carbon emissions, as well as examining the toxicity they generate in our oceans and lands.

Katherine johnston from Millstadt, Illinois, a freshman in civil and architectural engineering who plans to add environmental engineering to her roster of majors. She plays five instruments, speaks Spanish and is learning American Sign Language. Missouri S&T is now accepting applications for the 2022 Kummer Vanguard Fellowship Program. The first review of applications will begin on December 15th. For more information on the Kummer Vanguard Scholars program, visit kummerinstitute.mst.edu/vanguardscholarsprogram.


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