San Diego Foundation Awards Blasker Grant to TSRI Summer Research Internship Program

By Mika Ono

The San Diego Foundation has awarded a Blasker Grant to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Summer Research Internship Program. The $38,000 grant will sponsor 14 interns—ten local high school students and four undergraduates from San Diego-area universities—in the summer of 2003.

"We are thrilled to receive this support," says Robin Clark (formerly Goldsmith), vice president of communications and director of the Educational Outreach Program. "The generosity of our sponsors enables us to provide students and teachers with the invaluable experience of working with top-notch scientists in the lab."

"The award from the San Diego Foundation is a testament to all those who have participated in the past," says Communications Coordinator Jennifer O'Sullivan.

The Summer Research Internship Program is one component of TSRI's Science Outreach Program, which aims to promote and improve science literacy, enhance science teachers' professional development, and inspire students to pursue careers in the life sciences. In recognition of the shift towards a multiracial, multiethnic society, TSRI encourages students and teachers from gender and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences to attend its programs.

Since the outreach program's inception in 1993, over 200 high school students, 25 science teachers, and 71 undergraduates have participated in summer internships at TSRI. Another 18 students and three teachers are confirmed for this coming summer. The Science Outreach Program's day-long Contemporary Issues in Bioscience Seminar has reached over 600 teachers. "X-Sci," a half-day educational program for high-school students, has reached over 1,500 individuals.

Other sources of annual funding for the Science Outreach Program include: the Samuel H. and Katherine W. French Fund and the Maurice J. Masserini Charitable Trust, both administered by Wells Fargo Bank; the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which funds 10 to 15 internships through the Neighborhood House Association; the Joseph Drown Foundation; the Carl E. Wynn Foundation; and the Bank of America Foundation. In addition, private contributions have been received from philanthropists Robert Wallace; George and Patsy Conrades; and Oliver and Norma James.

Endowment funding for the outreach program includes gifts from Chairman of the TSRI Board of Directors John Diekman and his wife Susan Diekman; The William Randolph Hearst Foundation; and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

The San Diego Foundation is a community resource for receiving, managing, and distributing charitable funds to support organizations within the San Diego region. The foundation's Blasker Grants Program was established to "nurture and develop unique and innovative discoveries and experiences that may benefit all mankind, and to support and encourage individuals with potential in the scientific, engineering, and medical fields to reach their full potential."




The Blasker Grant will enable 14 students to participate in summer internships at TSRI. Photo by Jennifer O'Sullivan.