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PEER & WISE - Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Duke Energy Foundation continues longstanding support of Clemson’s PEER & WISE programs

July 3, 2018

The Duke Energy Foundation gave $85,000 to Clemson University to continue support of two summer programs that are aimed at increasing diversity in the pipeline that carries talent from academia to the workplace. The foundation granted $45,000 to Project WISE and $40,000 to PEER/WISE Summer Experiences.

Project WISE offers hands-on mini courses designed to develop middle school girls’ knowledge in STEM fields. The foundation expanded the grant last year to specifically target and recruit girls from the Pee Dee region to attend, and that effort continued this year. Sixty girls are enrolled in Project WISE. The Duke Energy Foundation has supported the program since 1997 and some of its alumni have gone on to become Clemson students.

PEER/WISE Summer Experiences seeks to increase the number of minority and female students who pursue both higher education and careers in STEM fields. Incoming Clemson freshmen who participate in the three-week PEER/WISE Summer Experiences will earn two hours of college course credit through both online and in-person educational opportunities, and will be provided with hands-on STEM learning and research experiences.

The program seeks to help students understand the difference between the academic demands of high school and college, and introduce them to the academically intensive STEM college experience through instruction and study skills development in mathematics and engineering from Clemson faculty.

“Programs like these are crucial to giving young people the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century as well as create a diverse workforce,”  said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina state president. “Our ongoing partnership with Clemson University helps produce skilled workers, grow communities and bring them new ideas.”

Both camps are organized by PEER & WISE, a program in the university’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences that supports groups underrepresented in engineering and science.

Serita Acker, the director of PEER & WISE, said she is grateful for the foundation’s continued support.

“Duke Energy’s contributions and visionary thinking are helping us transform lives and keep the pipeline filled with diverse talent,” she said. “We are deeply appreciative for their support of Project WISE and PEER/WISE Summer Experiences.”