Thanking the Nelson Family Scholarship for Promoting Polymer Education


Pictured Left to Right: Kevin Cavicchi, Elisabeth Meyer, Harvey Nelson, Kim Nelson, Gregory Brown, Isaac O’Brien, and Eric Amis

Scholarships are vital to many students’ success throughout their college careers, and often even beyond graduation. Financial aid programs such as the Nelson Family Scholarship in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering can open a lot of doors for our students, while encouraging them to study polymers. On Friday UA hosted a luncheon for the Nelson Scholars to meet alumni Harvey S. Nelson, the co-CEO of Main Street Gourmet and the founder of the Nelson Family Scholarship.

The “Nelson Scholars,” those who were chosen to receive the prestigious scholarship, are students who are enrolled full-time and have declared an intention to pursue a minor in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering: Nicholas Neill, Gregory Brown, Isaac O’Brien, and Elisabeth Meyer.

“The stress of having to work in order to be able to afford my education has weighed on me greatly throughout my time here at The University of Akron, and at times detracted from my studies,” said Nicholas Neill. “Through the generous donation from Mr. Harvey Nelson a significant amount of stress and financial burden has been lifted off my shoulders.  Because of his scholarship, I will be able to complete my senior year with financial peace of mind, knowing that I will be graduating without having to take on any student debt.”

Situations like Neill’s are all too common. When students struggle financially, it can take a toll on their studies. Scholarship programs provide great opportunities in numerous ways, including decreasing financial stress. Isaac O’Brien was also very thankful for the award, since “it will very much help to achieve my engineering career goals and minimize the burden of college debt.”

Financial aid can also encourage undergrads to take an interest in programs they may not have known about, or may have deemed too difficult to take on without help.

Nelson Scholar Elisabeth Meyer said of the award: “The Nelson Family Scholarship award validates not only my hard work for the past 4 years, but also my tenacity in achieving my career aspirations within the field of polymer applications. I am sincerely grateful for Mr. Nelson's generosity and interest in investing in the next generation of engineers.”

Clearly, the Nelson Family Scholarship helps bring more people into the world of polymers. In support of the same goal, the college has developed a minor in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, which is being offered for the first time this fall. It is a 6 course, 18 credit program that provides the foundation necessary to understand polymers, including practical lab experience and research in topics such as polymer physics, polymer chemistry or polymer processing. It, too, will qualify any student participating in the college for the scholarship, provided they are either enrolled in the Honors College or able to maintain a full course load with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

With these scholarships and a new minor allowing more students than ever to participate in polymer education, CPSPE will be able to provide even more people with the ability to start a career in the thriving polymer industry. Already, nearly 2,000 CPSPE grads are involved in the polymer industry.

“I believe that opportunities abound where generosity is greatest, and I'm grateful for belonging to a community that is firmly rooted in this,” Gregory Brown said. “Most importantly, I feel a sense of reassurance knowing that someone believes in my struggle, and that kind of support is carried not only through school but life as well.”

He and the other Nelson Scholars have worked hard for this honor, and we wish them the best of luck with the rest of their college careers and beyond. Thank you to Harvey S. Nelson for providing our students with much appreciated support.