College of Engineering benefits from PPG Foundation Gift


The University of Akron’s College of Engineering is benefiting the most from a list of more than 20 recipients of PPG Foundation gifts that total nearly $150,000.

The college is receiving $21,000 to support both Corrosion Engineering and Women in Engineering Summer Camp programs, and to help fund two scholarships for students in the Increasing Diversity in Engineering Academics (IDEAs) program.

“The College of Engineering is grateful for PPG’s continued support of important programs,” said Dr. Craig Menzemer, acting dean of the college. “PPG’s generous gift of $21,000 will enable the benefitting programs to continue providing services and experiences, such as summer camps, scholarships and national conference presentations, for tomorrow’s engineers.”

The PPG Foundation’s gifts were distributed to 23 northern Ohio organizations in support of educational and community sustainability programs. UA’s gift came from PPG’s Barberton specialty coating and materials facility.

Scholarship Awardees

Adam Bracken, left, and Antonio Crenshaw, members of the Increasing Diversity in Engineering Academics program, each received a $2,500 scholarhip as part of the PPG Foundation gift of $21,000 to the College of Engineering.

The College of Engineering’s Corrosion Squad, a student organization for corrosion engineers, will receive $10,000. The gift will help students present research results at the National Association of Corrosion Engineers conference, and allow students on the Corrosion Robotics team to participate in competitions.

Support for career preparation

Squad members meet monthly and host guest speakers from industry and academia who discuss research opportunities, corrosion failures and successes and innovative technology developments. Members represent the University at national and regional conferences and forums by presenting their research and talking about the bachelor of science program.

“This funding is incredible news for the Corrosion Squad,” said its president, Madeline Lee, a senior corrosion engineering major. “We are very excited to put this gift to good use. We’re so thankful for the PPG Foundation’s gift to help student engineers flourish academically and prepare for professional careers.”

Students in the IDEAs program each receiving $2,500 scholarships are Adam Bracken, a senior mechanical engineering major, and Antonio Crenshaw, a junior aerospace systems engineering major.

“Receiving this scholarship not only helps in a financial aspect, but deeply motivates me to succeed,” noted Bracken.

“Upon receiving the scholarship, I instantly felt a boost in my confidence in my major and I feel like I truly chose the right thing for me,” added Crenshaw. “I appreciate [PPG] seeing this and putting a small investment on me.”

Grateful students pay gifts forward 

“The PPG scholarships for students in the IDEAs program help them both financially and professionally,” said Dr. Julie Zhao, director of IDEAs. “We’re very grateful for PPG’s continued support of students in the IDEAs program. Often, these students work during their senior year to help the program with recruitment and retention.”

For Women in Engineering, $6,000 will be used toward the program’s Summer Experience in Engineering summer camp for high school girls and the Multiplying Your Options summer camps for middle school girls. The funds will help reduce the cost for all girls who attend and to provide scholarships for the girls with the highest need. Both camps will be held in June 2019.

“We greatly appreciate the years of support that PPG Industries Foundation has shown the Women in Engineering program summer camps,” said Heidi Cressman, director of Women in Engineering. “With their support, we are able to provide a program that promotes engineering to underserved girls within the community and in doing so, opens their eyes to the new career possibilities.”

Women in Engineering is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

For more information, visit the College of Engineering online.

Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or