Intensive summertime classes offer more continuity than regular school-year classes, and Westmont College hopes its newly endowed summer chemistry fellowships will provide that benefit to 8-10 students. The school has worked since 2012 to raise $500,000 to match a grant from the Pasadena-based John Stauffer Charitable Trust, giving the program a million-dollar endowment. The students chosen for the fellowships will be able to apply themselves to full-time research with Westmont faculty. “If something surprising happens during the summer,” said Michael Everest, Westmont professor of chemistry, “the student can do more than merely guess at what might be going on. [He or she] can come in the next day and try new experiments to test various hypotheses.”
One of the college’s current chemistry teachers is a product of that success. Niva Tro worked in the summer research program about three decades ago, and credits his coauthorship on several papers by his mentor, Professor Emeritus Allan Nishimura, for getting him into the best graduate programs in the country. Tro began teaching at Westmont 26 years ago after receiving his doctorate at Stanford; Nishimura published his 100th paper in 2013.