More than 100 rising high school seniors recognized with Honda STEM Award

On June 9, 112 rising high school seniors were recognized with the Class of 2022 Honda-Ohio State Partnership STEM Award during a virtual ceremony.

The ceremony featured remarks from both Rick Schostek, executive vice president of regional operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Dr. Ayanna Howard, dean of Ohio State’s College of Engineering.

“You are the next generation of amazing engineers and scientists from Ohio – and yes, the world really does need you,” Howard told the students. “You have so many potential paths to use your STEM talent to change the world and have a little fun while you’re at it.”

Schostek praised the students’ resilience in a most unusual year. “Tonight’s recognition is even more special because of what you have been able to accomplish during a year that challenged everyone,” he said. “Being a high-performing student is difficult enough but throw in the uncertainties of a pandemic and, well, let’s just say it certainly tested everyone’s resolve.”

Public and private high schools in central, western and southwestern Ohio are invited each spring to select an incoming senior to receive the STEM Award. Formerly known as the Math Medal, the award was created in 2005 to recognize outstanding math scholar in Ohio high schools and encourage those talented students to consider Ohio State and Honda in their future plans. In 2017, the award was renamed and expanded to recognize each high school’s top junior in all STEM courses. In all, more than 2,600 students have been recognized through the program.

STEM Award recipients interested in a STEM major at Ohio State can apply for a $3,000 annual scholarship. Twenty scholarships are available in engineering and 10 new scholarships were added in 2018 for STEM majors in business and arts and sciences.

The STEM Award is just one of the many activities of the Honda-Ohio State Partnership. With its beginnings traced back to the establishment of Honda’s central Ohio operations, today’s strong partnership has benefited from both organic and deliberate growth, now focused on the mutually beneficial areas of research, talent and community.

“At its core, this partnership is about creating opportunities,” added Schostek. “Since 2016, Honda has partnered with Ohio State on 235 research projects. We’ve created more than 200 co-op or internship opportunities leading to 80 full-time positions at Honda.”

The recognition ceremony also provided an opportunity for the students to hear directly from someone who was recently in their shoes – Ohio State alumna and Honda associate Paige Domicone shared her thoughts on finding a career she loves.

“It took me a while to find my path,” she said before elaborating on the variety of courses and activities offered at Ohio State. “My career started because I couldn’t stop asking ‘why’ and Ohio State helped me find a way to use that inquisitive nature to my advantage.”

Domicone ended her comments with a little advice: “keep pursuing what you like even if that means trying out things you don’t like.”

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