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Metro Brief: Montgomery College awarded $20,000 from AstraZeneca and MedImmune

Montomgery County

On February 15, 2015

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and its Gaithersburg, Maryland-based global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, have each provided a $10,000 grant to the Montgomery College Foundation to support community college student success.

The AstraZeneca grant will support the independent research course, Fundamentals of Scientific Research, which is designed for biotechnology, chemistry and biology students. Participating students will work in small groups with a faculty advisor and will have the opportunity to establish a virtual biotechnology company. They will learn interdisciplinary scientific research skills as well as collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking. A total of 20 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students will benefit from the grant, which will be used to purchase instructional equipment and supplies.

The grant from MedImmune will provide program support for the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) initiative, an innovative collaboration between Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove, the three public educational institutions serving Montgomery County. The ACES program offers a pathway from high school to community college to a university. The initiative focuses on underrepresented students as well as those who would be the first in their family to attend college. The program currently serves more than 1,300 students in local high schools and at Montgomery College. 

“AstraZeneca and MedImmune are important partners in our efforts to prepare Montgomery County students to be successful in college and in the workforce,” said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, Montgomery College president. “We are so grateful for their generous support of our STEM and ACES programs.”

Members of the companies’ leadership teams are also volunteers for Montgomery College. Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca and head of MedImmune, is serving as an honorary co-chair of the Montgomery College Foundation’s MC 2020 Campaign to raise $30 million for scholarships and programs.

“Montgomery College plays an important role in our community, providing a high quality education to thousands of students annually and training individuals to work in high demand areas, such as biotechnology,” said Jallal. “As a company located in Montgomery County, we appreciate the efforts of Montgomery College in helping to make our community a great place to live and work.” 

In addition to Jallal’s involvement with the college, Dr. Gail Folena-Wasserman, Senior Vice President of MedImmune’s Biopharmaceutical Development division, is a member of its Hercules Pinkney Life Sciences Park Foundation board of directors.

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