E. Eugene Carter Foundation brings a unique scholarship vision to S&T


Back row (from left): Jane O’Neil, John Aldridge and Bree Aldridge. Front row (from left): Rita Carter, Tate Aldridge and E. Eugene Carter.

Missouri S&T received great news in June: the E. Eugene Carter Foundation had awarded the university a $100,000 grant to fund five $20,000 scholarships. But there was a unique requirement. Instead of providing tuition assistance, the scholarships would be awarded
after graduation.

When the first Carter Opportunity Scholarships are awarded at S&T this year, they will go to Hispanic female undergraduates majoring in engineering who have taken out a direct subsidized federal loan to fund their undergraduate degrees. The scholarships will be awarded after the recipients graduate — to help pay off their student loans.

“Missouri S&T is grateful, honored and excited by this grant funding, not only because it rewards the persistence that leads to graduation, but also because it encourages young women to pursue careers in engineering,” says Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader. “The E. Eugene Carter Foundation is making a difference by rewarding newly minted engineers with student loan relief at a critical juncture in their lives as young professionals.”

The scholarships mark the foundation’s first grant to S&T – a gift inspired by foundation trustee John Aldridge, whose father, Don Aldridge, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Rolla in 1970.

The E. Eugene Carter Foundation was established by E. Eugene Carter, a Kansas native who earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in industrial administration at Carnegie Mellon University, with the financial support of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award. He went on to serve as a faculty member at Harvard Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland at College Park, where he retired as a professor and associate dean.

Carter credits his father and wife as the inspiration for the Carter Opportunity Scholarships. His father was a civil engineer and his wife, Rita Rodriguez, is a Cuban refugee and first-generation college graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico and an MBA and
Ph.D. at New York University Graduate School of Business. An expert in international business, Rodriguez taught finance at Harvard Business School and the University of Illinois at Chicago until her presidential appointment in 1982 as a director of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. She held this leadership position until 1999 and now serves as a director for several international corporations.

Rodriguez’s achievements as an immigrant fuel the foundation’s mission. “We help individuals from culturally diverse households use their talents and unique perspectives to build successful careers and a stronger future for us all,” says foundation chair E. Eugene Carter.

Carter Opportunity Scholarship grants are awarded to accredited engineering schools with the stipulation that the funding support female students who are of Hispanic descent, demonstrate financial need by qualifying for subsidized federal student loans, and have a minimum of sophomore status in a full-time course of study leading to an undergraduate degree in engineering. Recipients must complete the undergraduate degree program within six years and demonstrate an interest in peer tutoring. There are no GPA requirements.

“This generous gift will strengthen our efforts to recruit and retain talented Hispanic females,” says Cecilia Elmore, Missouri S&T’s director of student diversity, outreach and women’s program. “This kind of encouragement can only help us reach out to more students to help make their dreams come true.”

Other engineering schools that have been awarded Carter Opportunity Scholarships include Arizona State University, Florida State University, Kansas State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, California State University at Fresno and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The scholarships are renewable in the hope that an increasing number of young, Hispanic women will choose to pursue careers in engineering.

“Each of us has something to offer,” says Jane O’Neil, vice chair of the foundation. “In our case, we are working on assisting young people and, ultimately, our society. Enhancing economic opportunity, promoting personal and professional productivity, a helping hand – these are the values we want to act on and model for others through the Carter Opportunity Scholarships.”

Meet our new staff members

We are pleased to introduce the new members of the University Advancement team who have joined S&T in development and alumni relations positions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to these staff members with questions. They would be delighted to assist you!

Meet-our-staffJohn D. Held, executive director of development, comes to Rolla from Storm Lake, Iowa, where he served as director of major gifts for Buena Vista University and helped lead a $27 million comprehensive campaign. A Missouri native with more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, he holds a bachelor of arts degree from Missouri Valley College. Held serves as the liaison to geological science and engineering, materials science and engineering, mining and nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering, the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, and alumni in the Midwest and northern plains. Contact him at heldjohn@mst.edu or

Nolan Brunnworth, senior development officer, is a Missouri native who holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing management and a master’s degree in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University. He previously worked as director of development for Southeast Missouri State University and as director of marketing for a packaging manufacturer based in Kansas City. Brunnworth resides in St. Louis. He is the liaison to mechanical and aerospace engineering and alumni in the northeast. Contact him at brunnworthn@mst.edu or

Darla Harmon, senior development officer for corporations and foundations, previously served as the director of development for Drury University in Springfield, where she resides. Harmon specializes in grant writing and prospect research and identification and has raised more than $1 million from a variety of foundations and giving organizations. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and a master’s degree in communication from Drury. She is the liaison to engineering management. Contact her at harmond@mst.edu or 573-341-6596.

Kay Henry, senior development officer, is a Rolla native who attended Missouri S&T before transferring to the University of Kansas, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in linguistics and master’s degrees in French and linguistics. She previously served as the associate dean and director of the executive MBA programs for the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, where she resides. She was the founding director of the MBA for executives program at the Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. Her extensive international experience includes two years in Dubai, U.A.E, where she served as assistant dean of the College of Business Sciences in Zayed University. She is the liaison to chemical and biochemical engineering and chemistry and to S&T alumni living in Texas, Oklahoma, and the southwest. Contact her at henrykay@mst.edu or 573-341-4490.

Janice Weatherly, annual giving officer, is a Missouri native who holds a bachelor of science degree in public policy administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is completing a master’s degree in leadership and management at Webster University. Weatherly previously spent a year serving in AmeriCorps as the development assistant for Missouri’s Franklin County CASA, where she developed the organization’s first annual giving campaign and managed public relations. Contact her at jkwv3b@mst.edu or 573-341-4934.

Katie Jackson, assistant director of alumni and constituent relations, previously worked for Missouri S&T’s student affairs division as a student program administrator. She holds bachelor of arts degrees in psychology and religion from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is currently completing doctoral coursework in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Contact her at jacksonkj@mst.edu or 573-341-6034.

Travis Sewell, manager of alumni relations, previously worked for the Mizzou Alumni Association as a program assistant for legislative advocacy and constituent relations. He is a graduate of Truman State University with a double major in history and philosophy/religion and a double minor in English and African/African American studies. He has completed some graduate coursework in African American history at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Contact him at sewelltd@mst.edu or 573-341-4897.