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Students benefit from new scholarship funded by Alpha Natural Resources

8/24/2011 —

Students interested in pursuing a college degree in mining technology have a new scholarship available. The Alpha Natural Resource Mining Technology Scholarship, recently established at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, is designed to provide financial assistance to mining technology students enrolled at the campus.

Alpha Natural Resources of Waynesburg, Pa., pledged $65,000 over the course of five years to support the scholarship fund for incoming high school seniors who are pursuing an associate degree in mining technology. The mining technology program at Penn State Fayette offers students an education that blends science and mathematics with management practices and applied courses in mining technology to prepare students for supervisory roles in the mining industry.

“The Penn State Mining Technology degree program was specifically designed to fast-track graduates to supervisory roles in the mining industry. By providing this scholarship opportunity for our students, Alpha Natural Resources, a key employer in the region, is helping to make a quality Penn State education affordable,” explains Lori Omatick, director of development for Penn State Fayette. “Alpha Natural Resources’ partnership with Penn State Fayette is well established and we are pleased with this generous gift that benefits our students.”

Jim Blanc, director human resources for Alpha Natural Resources, says Alpha Natural Resources supports Penn State Fayette’s mining technology degree program in an effort to expand educational opportunities and to encourage students to enter the coal mining industry for a rewarding and challenging career. “The mining technology degree program provides students with a specialized education to help prepare them to become skilled, educated supervisors,” he adds.

Scholarship awards are made by Penn State Fayette’s Scholarship Selection Committee. Students who are selected to receive the scholarship are eligible to apply again the following year.

Already two students have been awarded the new scholarship. The scholarship recipients are Allen Cottrell Jr. of Smithfield, Pa., and Lee Higginbotham of Hopwood, Pa. Both Cottrell and Higginbotham are incoming freshmen mining technology students for the fall 2011 semester at Penn State Fayette.

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