HUNTINGTON — Thanks to a gift from the Maier Foundation, a new scholarship has been established at Marshall University for education majors committed to teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in West Virginia.

The Maier STEM Educator Scholarship was created to increase the number of highly qualified STEM middle school and high school teachers in West Virginia.

Four students have been chosen for the inaugural round. They will enroll in Marshall's College of Education and Professional Development.

"We are very grateful to the Maier Foundation for this incredible investment in both Marshall University and the educators of tomorrow," said Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert, president of Marshall. "The value and scope of this extremely generous scholarship package places it as one of the most prestigious scholarships at Marshall University, and that speaks to the importance that we are placing on teacher education. Education should be the top priority of every state, and particularly STEM education, which pervades nearly aspect of economic development and individual lives. The Maier Foundation understands this, and I am very happy they have chosen Marshall for this scholarship program."

The scholarship will include $15,000 annually for tuition, housing and other costs; a stipend of $1,500 for a laptop; and funding for a study abroad or student exchange experience. A total scholarship package of $72,500 maximum over a four-year period will be awarded.

"There is a significant need for additional STEM educators in West Virginia," said Brad Rowe, president of the Maier Foundation and General Corporation. "We hope this scholarship program will be part of the solution."

Recipients of the scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year and their counties and high schools are: Dylan Collier Mason County Hannan High School; Caroline Kinder Cabell County Cabell Midland High School; Kirsten Hill Putnam County Winfield High School; Bailey Arkell Cabell County Cabell Midland High School.

Students selected for the scholarships must be first-time freshmen and West Virginia residents, have a 3.5 high school GPA, have a 26 ACT composite or SAT equivalent, enroll in an eligible major and be willing to teach in West Virginia for four years following graduation

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