Scholarships - Department of Chemistry - West Chester University

Department of Chemistry

West Chester University

Chemistry Information
Office: 119 Schmucker
Science Center South
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2631
Fax (610) 436-2890
Email: Department Chair

Chemistry Department Scholarships

There are several scholarships available to chemistry majors that attend West Chester University. These scholarships are in addition to other larger scholarships that are offered university wide. You can find a list of university scholarships and other financial aid information here.

Some of these scholarships are for students that have already made some progress towards their degree (Reynolds and Challen), and others are specifically for incoming freshmen (Bravo and Magnuson).

Students should apply for the Reynolds Scholarship and the Challen Scholarships in the fall semester.  For application forms and specific information about the scholarships offered in Fall 2015, please use these links. 

The deadline for applications is 5:00 pm, Friday, Nov 20, 2015. Scholarship recipients will be notified by Dec 11, 2015.

The Justo Bravo Scholarship (since 1981)

Dr. Justo Bravo was Professor in the Chemistry Department at West Chester University from 1968 until he retired in 1982. During his tenure, he served as the first Chairman of WCU's Department of Chemistry, and was given emeritus status upon retirement. He died at the age of 85 on March 31, 2003.

The Justo Bravo Scholarship is to be awarded to an incoming freshman; the student must be registered in one of the five Chemistry Department degree programs. The award will be based on high school performance and admissions tests (SAT, ACT). The Department of Chemistry Scholarship Committee, comprised of three current faculty members, will select an applicant who, in their judgment, has the best potential to develop into a strong Chemistry major.

Herbert A. Challen '42 Memorial Scholarship for Chemistry Education (since 1999)

Herbert James Challen was born June 28, 1915 in Philadelphia, PA to George and Nettie (Jergenson) Challen. He graduated from Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA in 1934, where he was a member of the state champion high school basketball team. He attended Drexel University while working as a production expediter at the General Electric Philadelphia plant from 1935-1938. He attended West Chester University form 1938-1941, where he was on the soccer team for three years, was a member of the Varsity Club, served as Treasurer of his junior class, was on the Men's Dormitory Council two years, and active in Little Theatre for three years. He was called to active duty by the Navy in the fall of his senior year.

In WWII he was the commander of the USS Condor, a minesweeper, with duty in the Pacific. He received his B.S. in Education from West Chester in 1946 and did graduate work at the University of Washington in 1948-1950. Mr. Challen worked as a foreman and chemist at the Allied Chemicals plant in Philadelphia from 1946-1947 and then moved to Pomeroy, Washington where he started his teaching career as the science teacher and boxing coach at Pomeroy High School. From 1948-1977 he was a faculty member at Olympia High School, Olympia, Washington, where he taught chemistry and coached tennis. He is remembered as a poopular and inspiring teacher and coach. The Olympia High School annual was dedicated to Mr. Challen in 1965.

From 1934 until 1975, he served as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve with both active and reserve duty. He retired with the rank of Commander, USNR. On January 16, 1956, Olympia's Electronics division 13-13, under the command of LCDR Challen, was formally recognized in a ceremony by the Navy Department and community officilas as No.1 in the United States in the annual Navy Electronics National Excellence competition. He was a life member of the Retired Officers' Association, a member of the Fleet Reserve Association and the American Association of Retired Persons. Mr. Challen's hobbies were steelhead and salmon sports fishing, swimming and all sports. He greatly enjoyed a variety of activities with his family.

Mr Challen married Virginia Wiese of Olympia, Washington in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland. He passed away in Olympia on January 31, 1999 at the age of 83, levaing his wife, two sons, Roger Wiese Challen of Fayville, Massachusetts and H. Ozzie Wiese of Renton, Washington and a daughter, Sust St. Thomas of Wellesley, Massachusetts, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The scholarship is to be awarded to a student who is in his or her junior or senior year at the time of application. The student must be majoring in secondary education chemistry. This scholarship is to be granted on the basis of financial need.

Virgil Magnuson Chemistry Scholarship

Virgil (Gene) Magnuson taught inorganic chemistry at WCU. He was one of the faculty members who participated in the chemistry education program. He performed site visits among other duties within this program. He was an active APSCUF member (faculty union), and served on the Meet and Discuss Team. He also served as a WCU representative to the State Legislative Assembly.

The Virgil Magnuson Chemistry Scholarship is to be given to an incoming freshman majoring in Education in Chemistry.

The Francis J. Reynolds Chemistry Scholarship (since 1995)

Francis J. Reynolds, better known as Frank, was a native of Pottsville, PA and taught organic chemistry at WCU. He had an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, but chose to complete his doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He began teaching chemistry at West Chester State College while he completed his thesis. He enjoyed teaching so much that he then applied for a permanent position. Meanwhile he began singing tenor roles in Gilbert and Sullivan productions as well as more current dinner theatre musicals. One year when the Arden Theater in Delaware was performing "1776", he came to school dressed as Benjamin Franklin and gave his lectures "in character". His other favorite pastime was a portrayal of Benjamin Franklin in events around the Delaware Valley. Frank was known for his adherence to excellent performance standards both in the classroom and on stage, and was well liked by students for his sense of humor and his singing of Tom Lehrer's "Chemical Elements."

This scholarship is designated for students going into their sophomore, junior or senior year, who are registered in one of the five Department of Chemistry degree programs. The applicant must have completed at least 30 credits at WCU to be eligible. Applicants are judged by the Department of Chemistry Scholarship committee on their college performance, extracurricular activities and a personal essay.

Other university scholarships of interest include:

ERIC S. DELLECKER '84 SCHOLARSHIP. This scholarship for pre-medical students was established in memory of Eric S. Dellecker by his parents. Recipients are chosen by the University Pre-Medical Committee based on academic achievement and the completion of one academic year in the pre-medical program.

JOEL M. RESSNER SCHOLARSHIP IN CHEMISTRY AND JOEL M. RESSNER SCHOLARSHIP FOR MINORITY STUDENTS IN CHEMISTRY. Joel Ressner, WCU associate professor of chemistry, has established two scholarships to benefit students majoring in chemistry.

SARTOMER COMPANY ENVIRONMENTAL SCHOLARSHIP. A $1,500 annual environmental award is presented to a sophomore or junior who is a Pennsylvania resident and has fulfilled a number of chemistry courses including the chemistry of the environment course. Recipients must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a 3.2 GPA in the sciences as well as write an essay judged by a company representative.

YAROSEWICK FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP. Dr. Stanley Yarosewick served WCU for 25 years as a physics faculty member and in several administrative roles. His wife, Mary-Lou, was a teacher in the Downingtown Area School District who took classes at WCU. A stepson, S. Kenneth Wager ’88, and son, Michael J. Yarosewick ’91, graduated with degrees in computer science and physical education, respectively. This endowed scholarship fund was created in recognition of the important contribution WCU has made to the Yarosewick family. This scholarship will support a fourth-year science major who has a minimum 3.2 GPA.