Because of the kindness and philanthropy of two families who had already given much support to The American Ceramic Society, the organization now has four new awards to bestow on standout members and students. The gifts to ACerS come from the Varshneya and Cooper families, the former having a long association with ACerS’s glass activities and the latter with precision ceramic manufacturing.
The Varshneya Frontiers of Glass Lectures Fund, established by a gift from Darshana and Arun Varshneya, will support two award lectures to be given at the annual meeting of ACerS Glass & Optical materials division meeting. Arun Varshneya is a professor emeritus of glass science at Alfred University and served as the treasurer of ACerS in the 2008-2010 period. He has helped organize several conferences and meetings, and often teaches a popular “short course” on glass science and technology. He is also founder and president of Saxon Glass Technologies, a company that has developed an expertise in the ion-exchange strengthening of glass containers, such as those used for pharmaceuticals, including millions of autoinjector cartridges for the life-saving EpiPen allergy treatments. In 2007, he received the International Commission on Glass’s President’s Award. Darshana Varshneya is Arun’s wife and chief financial officer of Saxon Glass Technologies.
Their fund is earmarked for lectures that will cover two different topics. The Varshneya’s Frontiers of Glass Science Lecture series will be dedicated to encouraging “scientific and technical dialog in glass topics of significance that define new horizons, highlight new research concepts or demonstrate the potential to develop products and processes for the benefit of humankind.” Their Frontiers of Glass Technology Lecture series will recognize and promote similar goals as the Glass Science Lecture, but with more emphasis on the engineering of glass. The Varshneya’s fund will provide a travel stipend and formal award. A special award committee will be established soon to solicit nominees and select the winners. The goal is to present the first set of award lectures at the 2013 Glass & Optical Materials Division annual meeting in June.
The other set of new awards are made possible by a gift from Reldon Cooper. Cooper is an emeritus member of ACerS and was part of the Society’s Engineering Ceramics Division, and he has earned a great deal of respect for being cofounder of Du-Co Ceramics Co., a business established in 1949 with cofounder John Duke. Du-Co is best known for making technical ceramics and precision ceramic insulators and has facilities in Saxonburg, Pa., and Monroe, N.C. Cooper’s daughter, Lora Cooper Rothen, now serves as CEO of Du-Co, and is an active member of the ACerS Board of Directors and also previously served a treasurer of the Society (2006-2008).
Cooper’s gift will be used to create the Du-Co Ceramics Scholarship, which is aimed at undergraduates involved with ACerS’ student activities, and the Du-Co Young Professional Award, which will recognize early-career members who have been active within the Society. The new scholarship will be awarded to a college sophomore or junior (at the time of application) studying materials science or engineering. Preference will be given to applicants whose studies emphasize ceramics. The full criteria for selecting the winner will be announced in a call for nominees that will be issued later this year. The new Young Professional Award will recognize “a young professional member of ACerS who demonstrates exceptional leadership and service” to the Society. The first recipients of the Du-Co Scholarship and Young Professional Awards will be announced at the 2013 ACerS annual meeting.