Kennesaw State students earn research awards from Birla Carbon

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Ten undergraduate students each receive $4,000 for summer research in science and mathematics…

Georgia (Jun 6, 2014)Ten undergraduate students each receive $4,000 for summer research in science and mathematics

KENNESAW, Ga.  (June 6, 2014) — Summer is usually a time when college students are either taking a break from their studies or looking for ways to make some extra cash. For 10 Kennesaw State University students in the Birla Carbon Scholars Program, summer has become an opportunity to advance scientific and mathematical research.

The new scholars program was developed in April 2014 with a $250,000 pledge from Birla Carbon, a global manufacturer and supplier of carbon black additives, to support research opportunities for students in Kennesaw State’s College of Science and Mathematics. The program kicked off this summer with 10 Kennesaw State students each receiving a $4,000 stipend. This year’s inaugural scholars are:

  • Amber Caldara, a junior majoring in biology;
  • Daniel Hoffman, a junior majoring in biology;
  • Samuel Keenan, a junior majoring in biology;
  • Alden Lathrop, a junior majoring in biochemistry;
  • James Law, a junior majoring in biochemistry;
  • Bradley Norvell, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry;
  • Aaron Pital, a junior majoring in biochemistry;
  • Alberto Romero, a senior majoring in biology;
  • Dennys Rosales, a junior majoring in mathematics; and
  • Maredith Sapp, a junior majoring in biology.

Each student scholar will work side-by-side with faculty researchers on projects dealing with topics from coastal ecosystems to traffic patterns on I-75. They will present their research and findings at an end-of-term symposium in August, and the top student will receive $2,000 toward travel expenses to present his or her research at a national scientific conference during the upcoming academic year.

“Many students are not able to explore summer research programs because they must work full time between the spring and fall semesters,” said Jonathan McMurry, associate dean of research of the College and Science and Mathematics. “This stipend allows them time and financial freedom to expand their research skills outside of the classroom and continue Kennesaw State’s tradition of academic excellence.”

Applicants for the annual scholarship must be freshman, sophomores or juniors during the spring semester in which they apply for the program and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. In addition to the scholars program, funds from the Birla Carbon gift will be used to provide research supplies needed for faculty assisting students and supplies needed for the end-of-the term symposium.

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Birla Carbon is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of high-quality carbon black additives. Its customers include leading brands and companies from the tires, rubbers goods, plastics, inks and paints sectors globally. The company has 17 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries and two state-of-the-art Research & Development centers, one of which is located at their operational headquarters in Marietta, Georgia. The company has a history of many firsts under its accomplishments, including being the first to produce Carbon Black Beads and patent Dustless Carbon Black in 1927, and being the first carbon black company to use an industrial electron microscope in 1940. The focus on R&D continues to be relentless with much commitment to constantly enhance the technical and environmental impact of its products and operations. Sustainable operational excellence is a key business driver for Birla Carbon, and the company is investing the required resources on its sustainability initiative. 

Birla Carbon is a flagship business of the $40 billion Aditya Birla Group, an Indian conglomerate with leading presence in aluminum, apparel, cement, financial services, retail and telecom sectors. The group operates in 36 countries with employee strength of more than 136,000 belonging to 42 different nationalities.

More information about Birla Carbon and the Aditya Birla Group is available on their website and



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit