Chemical engineering student Josh Frash, a senior at Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, has received the nationally competitive Forge Scholarship from engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi.
Frash, who hails from Powell, Ohio, was recognized for his academic performance, campus leadership, service and promise of future contributions to the engineering profession with the $2,000 award. Tau Beta Pi awards about 200 scholarships annually to incoming engineering seniors.
“Being selected as one of those recipients was a proud moment for me,” Frash said. “I join a distinguished list of scholars before me, which is a high honor to have as an engineering student. It gives me great pride in Ohio University and particularly the Russ College of Engineering.”
Aside from being the president of OHIO's student chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a Robe Leadership Institute scholar and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Frash is a peer mentor for introductory chemistry courses and is active in his local church’s youth ministry.
“Josh has done a fantastic job as president of our chapter,” said the group’s advisor, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Monica Burdick. “He’s faced some pretty big challenges and handled them really well, which is a testament to his skillful leadership and team working abilities.”
Set to graduate in May 2015, Frash is currently on a co-op assignment at DuPont Performance Polymers in Washington, W.V. He works with engineers to improve production of high performance plastic polymers for cars, windshields, Kevlar products and household products, an experience he hopes will prepare him for a career in environmental controls in manufacturing.
“I’m developing a foundation of knowledge for future work in the polymer industry but also in teaching capacities outside of work,” he said. “This is providing a source of income while in college that helps compensate for the costs of a college education. And I’m developing professional skills, communication strategies and confidence in who I am.”
Frash is also considering pursuing a master’s degree in education to allow him to teach high school, where he wants to bring STEM education to children at a pivotal point in their educational journey as a chemistry teacher.
“Kids need to be believed in and encouraged, especially by adults who see them as valuable. One of my life convictions is to give back whatever is to my gain,” Frash said.