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SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM BOOSTS MINORITIES IN SCIENCES; 18-YEAR EXPERIENCE YIELDS ENCOURAGING RESULTS

 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM BOOSTS MINORITIES IN SCIENCES;
 18-YEAR EXPERIENCE YIELDS ENCOURAGING RESULTS
 PHILADELPHIA, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- In April 1992, a national group of educators announced a new $18 billion plan geared toward alleviating the shortage of minorities in the sciences.
 But for the international specialty chemicals company, Rohm and Haas (NYSE: ROH) helping minorities enter the chemical engineering field is part of an ongoing program with results that have changed the lives of dozens of students forever.
 Since 1974, the company's Minorities Chemical Engineering Program (MCEP) has helped minority students pursue careers in chemical engineering through an innovative collaboration with Drexel University, where students are offered scholarships for tuition and hands-on experience with employers.
 Each year, the company sponsors two black high school graduates, who spend a total of five years studying at the university, with six-month stints working full-time at Rohm and Haas.
 And if they successfully complete the program and graduate, they may be offered a position with the company, which for students like Andrew Bird, proved to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
 Bird, 27, a 1988 graduate of the program, and currently a development engineer at Rohm and Haas, said the experience made it easier for him to choose a career in science. "I didn't even know what a chemical engineer was," he told a reporter following his graduation. "But the program enlightened me and made it easier for me to choose."
 Bird was also the inspiration for his sister Karen, now 25, who like her brother was interested in the sciences but didn't have a definite career path.
 "When you're young, you have these misconceptions about going into the real world -- that it's cutthroat," she said. "But during my co-op, everyone was so helpful and it provided a good and stimulating work atmosphere."
 According to Delbert S. Payne, manager of corporate social investment for Rohm and Haas, the program's results have been "impressive."
 "I'm delighted that there is an increased interest in promoting minorities in the sciences, because our experience proves it's an investment worth making," he said.
 "The real key to success, however, is to not only throw dollars at a problem, but to also provide students with experiences and relationships that will help them develop self-confidence and the courage to achieve."
 Since the program began, more than 39 students have participated and the graduation rate has significantly increased, especially over the past five years.
 This is a positive prognosis for a country whose minority representation is approximately one-third of the population, yet they account for "less than 5 percent of the nation's professionals in math and science."
 Today, two young black women from the Philadelphia area will receive their scholarships and will begin studying at Drexel University in the fall. Tomorrow, they will be joining a growing group of professionals, who through their talent, ambition and a little help along the way, make a difference in the way we all live our lives.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/28/92
 /CONTACT: Dava Guerin or Wendy Kapnek of Guerin & Kapnek Communications, 215-830-1441, or, evenings, 215-635-5985, for Rohm and Haas/
 (ROH) CO: Rohm and Haas Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MK-JS -- PH030 -- 4811 05/28/92 14:01 EDT
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Date:May 28, 1992
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