Chapman University,
The Simon Family Foundation and Orange High School have announced the 2016 Simon STEM Scholars as part of the partnership between the three organizations created last year called the Simon STEM Scholarship Program. This unique scholarship program allows selected Orange High School students who major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree to receive a full scholarship to Chapman University. This year’s cohort brings the total number of Simon STEM Scholars to nine.

“This partnership reinforces Chapman’s commitment to STEM education,” said
Andrew Lyon, Ph.D
., dean of Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. “By joining with the Simon Family Foundation we are pleased to be honoring Orange High School students interested in pursuing an education and career grounded in STEM.”

Specifically, the Simon STEM Scholarship Program is a six-year process that begins during a student’s junior year while attending Orange High School and continues through four years at Chapman University. Students will be selected each year based on their GPA and desire to pursue a career in a STEM discipline. The scholarship program supports students who are facing personal or economic difficulties and is designed to help students excel academically and to become burgeoning thought leaders in STEM disciplines.

While still in high school, the selected students will receive a computer, academic support and college level research experience, as well as participate in community service activities and other programs designed to prepare for their success in college and beyond. The scholars must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Following the completion of high school, the Simon STEM Scholars receive a full scholarship to Chapman University including tuition and housing. Students electing not to attend Chapman University will be eligible for a $16,000 Simon Family Foundation Scholarship to assist with tuition as they pursue their STEM-focused studies at the university of their choice.

By the year 2020, The Simon STEM Scholarship Program will be providing almost $1 million annually in funding to 24 Simon Scholars. Eight of them will be enrolled at Orange High School and 16 will be enrolled at Chapman.

This year’s cadre of Simon STEM Scholars were honored together with the inaugural group at an awards banquet October 6 at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, which was hosted by the Simon Family Foundation. This year’s cohort includes: Gavin McCullough, Chelsey Cortes, An Ngo and Fabian Valdez – all high school juniors. They will join the inaugural Simon STEM Scholars – currently high school seniors: Angel Diaz, Nancy Gomez, Michael Juarez, Gage Kizzar, and Atmary Martinez.


The Simon STEM Scholars gathered at their awards banquet.

The scholars have already begun their work at Chapman. Split up into two groups they will work under the guidance of Schmid College faculty members
Dr. Ali Nayeri
Dr. Ramesh Singh
. Each semester, new Schmid College faculty members are selected as mentors to lead the Simon STEM Scholar research experience.

An interesting feature of the program is that donors will be able to sponsor a Simon Scholar during their four years at Chapman for $14,000 per year or $56,000 for all four years. Mr. and Mrs. Simon have generously offered to fully match each of these sponsorships. Every student in this program will graduate from Chapman as a Simon Scholar and a Fellow named in honor of the person, foundation or corporation sponsoring the student.

In addition to the full match of $224,000 provided annually by Mr. and Mrs. Simon and additional support from the Simon Family Foundation, the following have committed to sponsor Fellows ($56,000 over all four years):

  • Doy Henley, Chairman Emeritus of Chapman University’s Board of Trustees
  • Daniele Struppa, President of Chapman University
  • Jim Doti, President Emeritus of Chapman University
  • Western Dental Services/Brident STEM Scholar

A $1 million commitment has also been made by an anonymous foundation to fully endow two Fellows in perpetuity.

Additional partners – individuals, corporations and foundations – are welcome to participate.  Interested parties should contact Sheryl A. Bourgeois, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of University Advancement, Chapman University, at

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 155th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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