Dr. Melvin & Shirley (Stahl) Merken Two Cultures Annual Scholarship
Criteria: ($750 annual award) The Dr. Melvin and Shirley (Stahl) Merken Two Cultures Annual Scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior excelling in science who bridges the scientific and humanistic cultures through participation in theatrical, literary or athletic pursuits or service to the University or wider community.
Worcester State University Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Melvin Merken, Ed.D., and his wife, Shirley ’96, established the Two Cultures Scholarship to recognize students who bridge the scientific and humanistic cultures. Students applying for this scholarship should excel in science and participate in theatrical, literary, or athletic pursuits or service to the University or wider community.
Dr. Merken, who chaired the Chemistry, Chemistry and Physics, and Natural and Earth Science departments during his long career, has earned many awards over a distinguished career. He combines enjoyment of art, music, literature, bike riding, and tennis with his love of science. His textbook, Physical Science with Modern Applications, has gone through five editions and is a standard in colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Mrs. Merken, who holds an associate’s degree from Boston University, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from WSU. The couple also support and hold offices in various charitable and cultural causes.
“We both grew up in households where money just about covered the basics,” notes Dr. Merken, “so we know how difficult it is for many students to find the means to fund their college education. We wanted to help such students, and have found it especially rewarding to do so in a way that recognizes the compatibility of science and the humanities.”
At the time this scholarship was established, Thomas McNamara ’94, vice president of Institutional Advancement, noted “It’s wonderful to see a faculty member and an alumna provide this scholarship for our students. Dr. and Mrs. Merken support Worcester State in so many ways. This is just the latest example of their incredible generosity.”