Science Bound Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Gala

Science Bound Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Gala

ISU President Steven Leath

ISU President Steven Leath and more than 140 campus dignitaries, district representatives, and former and current Science Bound students gathered at the Iowa State University Alumni Center to celebrate Science Bound’s 25 anniversary on Friday, October 21. The 25th Anniversary Gala honored early visionaries, supporters and educational champions, as well as Science Bound alumni and friends in each of the university’s colleges.

President Leath provided remarks and recognized Science Bound program visionary Dr. David Hoffman, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, for his role in the genesis of the program at Iowa State. The corporate visionary award was presented to DuPont Pioneer and accepted by the corporation’s president Paul E. Schickler. DuPont Pioneer through direct, endowment and in-kind gifts has provided over $1 million to Science Bound over the years.

President Leath also helped present awards to Dr. Lenola Allen-Sommerville, who wrote the successful National Science Foundation proposal for $400,000 for the program that would later be known as Science Bound, and who became the program’s first director; and Gerald Joseph, Des Moines Public School teacher and Science Bound instructor for 24 years.

Dr. Jeffery Johnson, Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed President and CEO of the ISU Alumni Association, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, which included a social, processional of high school flags, a welcome video by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, the unveiling of the Science Bound video, and more.


Paul E. Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer, accepts the Corporate Visionary Award. The corporation has provided nearly $1 million in direct and in-kind financial support to the program over Science Bound’s history.
Paul E. Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer, accepts the Corporate Visionary Award. The corporation has provided nearly $1 million in direct and in-kind financial support to the program over Science Bound’s history.
Dr. David Hoffman, University Professor Emeritus, was presented with a Visionary Award for ensuring that a program was piloted at Iowa State that became the precursor for Science Bound. Pictured with wife Judith, the Hoffmans have supported the program financially through the years as well.
Dr. Lenola Allen-Sommerville successfully wrote the $400,000 National Science Foundation grant that led to the start of Science Bound in all Des Moines middle schools. Dr. Allen-Sommerville was the program’s first director.
Des Moines Public School teacher Gerald Joseph was recognized for 24 years of commitment to Science Bound as a lead teacher at Callanan Middle School, Des Moines.

Science Bound comes together to celebrate 25 years of pursuing academic excellence

AMES, Iowa – As much as Becky Gomez loved math and science as a kid, she never really connected her favorite subjects with what she might want to do when she grew up. Even when her mom encouraged her to join Science Bound, Becky says she initially thought it was just something fun to do after school.

Now the senior in industrial engineering recognizes how the Iowa State University program, which has empowered Iowa students of color to pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields for the past 25 years, helped fuel her passion into a future career. It all started with her eighth grade science fair project – a Science Bound requirement – and continued in high school with the opportunity to explore different STEM careers.

“I found that I really loved the hands-on approach to science,” Becky said. “That got me interested in problem solving and finding a way to fix the world’s problems and helping other people.”

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