Genentech Grants $10.5 Million to SF State's College of Science & Engineering

San Francisco State University science students in lab

Genentech Grants $10.5M to SF State's College of Science & Engineering

HISTORIC FUNDING WILL SUPPORT STEM STUDENTS AND BUILD A LOCAL STEM WORKFORCE

Funded by Genentech Foundation, More Than 100 College of Science & Engineering Students a Year Will Receive Transformative Scholarships

by Gail Mallimson
February 19, 2020
 
When Daisy Salazar, the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the first in her family to attend college, learned that she had been awarded a $24,200 scholarship funded by the Genentech Foundation, she couldn’t believe that she had been chosen. Once the news sunk in, Daisy, a fourth-year biology student in San Francisco State University’s College of Science & Engineering (CoSE), was elated. “Emotionally, it impacted me because it made me feel better about myself — like I belong here,” said Daisy. Telling her parents about the scholarship was a high point: “Their faces lit up and it made me feel really proud. And that’s what I want — to make my parents proud of me.”
 
The Genentech Foundation’s recent $10.5 million grant to San Francisco State University’s College of Science & Engineering is one of the largest gifts the University has ever received. Distributed over five years, the grant will fund three initiatives managed by the college’s Student Enrichment Opportunities Office. Approximately 80% of the grant will go towards support of students from low-income backgrounds, with the remainder going to the management and staffing of the program. Awards will be made annually to 92 undergraduates and 20 graduate students. Recipients will be provided with opportunities to engage in research, supportive workshops, colloquia, mentoring, special classes, speaker series, tutoring and seminars. 
 
A primary goal of the Genentech Foundation programs, designed by Professor Emeritus of Biology Frank Bayliss, is to alleviate the need for STEM students to work at outside jobs, so they have time to engage in research instead. “It’s vital that students who are pursuing a degree in biology, chemistry and physics spend time in a lab,” said Bayliss. “Until they get engaged in the process of discovery, they’re not really scientists, they’re science historians.” Lab experience is also often a requirement for students applying to Ph.D. programs after graduation.
 
“It’s vital that students who are pursuing a degree in biology, chemistry and physics spend time in a lab. Until they get engaged in the process of discovery, they’re not really scientists, they’re science historians.” 
            - Frank Bayliss, Professor Emeritus of Biology

San Francisco State University Genentech scholarship recipient Daisy SalazarCoSE biology student Daisy Salazar was thrilled to tell her parents that she had been awarded a Genentech Foundation scholarship, “Their faces lit up and it made me feel really proud. And that’s what I want — to make my parents proud of me,” said Daisy.

Frank Bayliss and Genentech Masters ScholarsProfessor Emeritus Frank Bayliss (top row, second from left) with Genentech Foundation Masters Scholars. The master's program has been funded by the Foundation for  more than 10 years, and is now expanded with the new grant. 
Wilmer Amaya-Mejia, Genentech Foundation Masters Scholar Wilmer Amaya-Mejia, a second-year master's student in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at SF State, is a Genentech Foundation Dissertation Scholar. Since 2008, 55 CoSE master's students have received scholarships, with 50 entering Ph.D. programs afterwards.

 
 
Receiving a Genentech Foundation scholarship has been transformational for Ana Rodriquez, a CoSE biology senior. Until recently, she worked 25-30 hours a week at a steakhouse, supporting herself and her family while going to school full time. The Genentech Foundation scholarship has enabled her to quit this job. “I spend my entire day on campus now, participating in the program,” said Ana. “I do research here, I teach physics to students who need support, and I’m part of the community.” 
 
The Genentech Foundation has generously supported the College of Science & Engineering for more than 10 years. Inspired by the positive impact of past funding, the Foundation has now committed to deepening its partnership with the college. “We have seen that San Francisco State students are passionate and tenacious, which are critical characteristics for scientific research,” relates Kristin Campbell Reed, Senior Director, Genentech Corporate & Employee Giving and Executive Director, Genentech Foundation. “Our goal is to ensure that any student who wants to pursue a science degree has the opportunity to do so.”
 
San Francisco State University biology student Karolina MaytorenaReceiving a Genentech Foundation scholarship allowed Karolina Maytorena to quit a job in the catering business and devote more time towards her biology studies and research in CoSE.
SF State biology student Ana Rodriquez Ana Rodriguez, a CoSE biology senior was able to quit her job in a restaurant after receiving a Genentech Foundation scholarship. "I spend my entire day on campus now, participating in the program. I do research here, I teach physics to students who need support, and I'm part of the community."

 

The grant to San Francisco State is the largest ever made by the Genentech Foundation, which has increased its support from five students a year to 112. “I am very grateful to the Foundation for their generosity and trust in partnering with SF State,” said the University’s president, Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D. “I am also proud of our faculty, staff and students, who have built a successful program that inspires support and is a positive force for our community.” 
 
The Genentech Foundation grant will play a large role in the development of the life sciences workforce in the Bay Area, which is generally less diverse than SF State’s student body. “We believe in creating more equitable on-ramps to the fields of science and medicine,” Campbell Reed said. “If the life sciences workforce reflects the patient populations we’re serving, we can better develop medicines and services that meet their needs.” 
 
“We believe in creating more equitable on-ramps to the fields of science and medicine. If the life sciences workforce reflects the patient populations we're serving, we can better develop medicines and services that meet their needs.” 
            - Kristin Campbell Reed, Executive Director, Genentech Foundation
Dr. Carmen Domingo, dean of the College of Science & Engineering, hopes that the Genentech Foundation’s grant will inspire more grants and gifts to the college, which annually educates 7,300 students. “The majority of our students come from and remain in the Bay Area after graduation,” said Domingo. “We are situated right here in the metropolis of technology, which makes us an excellent partner for businesses in providing a local skilled workforce that enables them to stay at the forefront of their industries.”
 

 

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For more information about supporting the College of Science & Engineering contact:

 

Jasmine Minato

Associate Director of Development
College of Science & Engineering
Email: jminato@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 338-2647

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