Patricia and Jim Robertson are passionate about the University of Michigan (U-M), sustainability, and helping students in need. As a result, these U-M alumni established the Rosario and Yvonne Sommella Scholarship Fund (in honor of Patricia's parents), which offers need-based scholarships to deserving students involved in the Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars program, the Graham Institute's 11-credit supplemental studies program. The award provides much needed tuition support during the students' senior year.
The first recipient of the Somella award was Sustainability Scholar and Business major Megan Biner, of Crystal Lake, Illinois. As part of the Graham program. Megan studied sustainable business practices in Costa Rica to fulfill the field-study requirement. According to Biner, she could not have had this international learning experience had it not been for the financial support of Sommella Scholarship, which she received Fall Term 2013.
"My professional goal is to work in eco-entrepreneurship, and I have a particular interest in clean energy," Biner said. "The experience in Latin America will undoubtedly help me to move quicker towards this goal. I am very grateful to the Robertsons for supporting me in my quest."