ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 10, 2006) -- Professor of Mathematics Reza Aftabizadeh recently donated $20,000 to Ohio University's Urban Scholars Program, which is enhancing diversity at the university by providing scholarships for students from urban centers. Aftabizadeh - who has taught Ohio University students for 20 years - will support one Urban Scholar during the 2006-07 academic year and plans to continue providing scholarship support annually, eventually supporting four Urban Scholars a year - one in each class.
"I have wanted always to support minority students," said Aftabizadeh. "Since the administration is improving our diversity, I wanted to do it now. If I can have some positive influence on the future for a student, that will be satisfying."
Aftabizadeh earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Arlington in 1981 and has been a professor of mathematics at OHIO since 1985. He teaches differential equations, analytic geometry and calculus. Prior to joining the faculty at OHIO, he was an assistant professor at Pan American University (now the University of Texas-Pan American) in Edinburg, Texas.
"It is gratifying that a long-time Ohio University faculty member is taking such a personal step toward enhancing our university's diversity," said President Roderick J. McDavis. "This gift illustrates that our faculty understand the value of living in and supporting a diverse community, especially as we work to prepare leaders and citizens for tomorrow."
The mission of the Urban Scholars Program is to provide scholarships for students graduating from urban school districts who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Preliminary efforts have led to the recruiting and supporting of 13 Urban Scholars who began classes in fall 2005. Eventually the program will support 100 scholars annually by providing support for tuition and fees.
"When we proactively recruit students from disproportionately represented populations, we must not ignore our urban centers. By offering scholarships to students from Ohio's inner cities who really want to go to college and want the opportunity to succeed, we renew our commitment to promoting an atmosphere where understanding and acceptance of cultural differences is a top priority," said McDavis.
Chartered in 1804, Ohio University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools at bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Students come from every state in the union and 100 different countries. Presently enrolling more than 29,000 students on the Athens campus and five regional campuses, Ohio University offers 285 undergraduate majors through 10 academic colleges and the Center for International Studies. The university also offers master's degrees in nearly all areas, 20 doctoral degrees and a doctoral degree in osteopathic medicine.
The Ohio University Foundation is the repository for all private gifts through annual giving programs, capital, and special campaigns and planned or deferred gifts. The Foundation is an institutionally related, non-profit, tax-exempt, 501c(3) organization.
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Media Contact: Director of Development Communication Jennifer Bowie, (740) 597-2987