Chemistry student receives prestigious Schlumberger fellowship
Pennante Naa Ayikailey “Penny” Bruce- Vanderpuije, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry, has received the prestigious 2015 Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship, which supports doctoral or postdoctoral studies by female students from developing countries or emerging economies in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field. After completing their studies, recipients are expected to return to their home countries to strengthen university faculties and address issues regarding women in STEM fields.
“I enjoy passing on knowledge to others,” says Bruce-Vanderpuije. “I believe that whatever I have gained from my professors, I should pass on to others and help individuals achieve better lives for themselves.” Originally from Ghana, Bruce- Vanderpuije became interested in environmental chemistry after observing the effects pollutants and toxins had on her community. “Growing up, I’ve witnessed people’s health deteriorate from ingesting contaminated food,” she says. “I gradually came to the realization that I was interested in chemical analysis.”
At UB, Bruce-Vanderpuije is continuing her studies on pollutant identification and measurement under SUNY Distinguished Professor and John and Frances Larkin Professor of Chemistry Joseph A. Gardella and Professor of Chemistry Diana Aga. “It is a great honor for Penny to be awarded this fellowship,” says Gardella. “Penny is focused on helping her country, through her own actions and those of the next generations of students in Ghana. I believe she will have a profound impact based on the work she has done and plans to do. The freedom and support that the fellowship provides is a critical factor to achieving her dreams.