April 29, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Pharmaceutical maker Pfizer Inc. has created four
$2,000 scholarships for a total of $8,000 to encourage students
from diverse backgrounds to pursue a career with the company.
Two of the scholarships are earmarked for biomedical science majors while the other two are reserved for those majoring in a business-related field.
The Pfizer Cultural Diversity Scholarships are part of a larger effort to set up similar partnerships with one four-year higher education institution in each of the pharmaceutical company's five geographical areas. Michigan is located in Pfizer's Great Lakes Division, which includes Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and western Pennsylvania.
Larry Yarcheck, Great Lakes regional manager for Pfizer in Chicago, said WMU is the first institution to be named as a scholarship partner. He said the University was selected largely because of the reputation and diversity of its biological sciences and business departments.
"We're delighted that Pfizer has established this exciting new relationship with our University," said Dr. Martha B. Warfield, director of minority affairs at WMU. "It will enable students to consider and explore a career in the pharmaceutical industry who otherwise might not have done so."
Pfizer, headquartered in New York, is a worldwide research-based pharmaceutical company.
Plans call for the company to award the four scholarships this coming fall and to expand its relationship with WMU by providing internships for students before they graduate and job opportunities for them after they graduate.
"Pfizer is a growing international company with 41,000
employees," Yarcheck said. "We've become a global corporation,
and diversity within our sales force is conducive to attracting
students for future job opportunities. That process needs to begin earlier and preferably during the junior year."
At the same time, said Gary Kordella, Pfizer senior district manager in Grand Rapids, students need to realize that they can't wait until graduation to start laying the groundwork for successful careers. "Things are just moving too fast, whether you're a company or a college student," he said. "If you don't think outside of the box, you're going to get left behind."
Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
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