Radford University’s Summer Bridge Program partners with Appalachian Power to inspire young women in STEM

The Summer Bridge Program at Radford University encourages, empowers and inspires young women from across the United States to pursue degrees and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
The Summer Bridge Program at Radford University encourages, empowers and inspires young women from across the United States to pursue degrees and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

Radford University’s Summer Bridge Program for female high school students has received a generous donation in the amount of $25,000 from Appalachian Power through the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation.

The donation will fund the participation of 20 deserving students in the weeklong residential camp, scheduled this summer for July 14-19 on Radford University’s campus. The annual summer program encourages, empowers and inspires young women from across the United States to pursue degrees and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

“Appalachian Power is pleased to be able to support the Summer Bridge Program at Radford University with this gift from the AEP Foundation,” said Amanda Cox, Appalachian Power external affairs manager. “This exciting new partnership aligns with the mission of both AEP and Radford University to prepare students for in-demand careers in STEM fields. By increasing the pipeline of STEM students and graduates, Appalachian Power and Radford University are meeting a critical need in Virginia and throughout the nation and world to fill jobs related to STEM. Through the Summer Bridge Program, we are excited to specifically prepare women, who are underrepresented in STEM careers, for these important positions.”

The Summer Bridge Program has been hosted by Radford University’s Artis College of Science and Technology for more than a decade. The high-tech camp provides participants with active, hands-on learning in STEM, as well as college preparation and career-based mentoring.

The 2018 Summer Bridge Program hosted 58 students, who represented several different minorities and ethnicities, as well as socioeconomic backgrounds, from across the Commonwealth and beyond. Throughout the week, Radford University students, faculty and staff utilized creative ways to incorporate science into the daily curricula. Some examples of on-campus activities included flying UAVs (drones), launching rockets, studying skeletons, analyzing rock formations and building peptides. Students also participated in off-campus trips to Mountain Lake, TORC Robotics, Novozymes and Selu Conservancy.

This summer, in addition to Appalachian Power’s generous monetary support, the company will send Cox, as a representative of AEP, to speak with the campers about the organization and the importance of community partnerships.

“We are so appreciative of AEP’s participation with Summer Bridge,” said Summer Bridge Director David Horton. “Their sponsorship enables young women to explore STEM fields and career paths and encourages further growth with science and technology.  Their commitment to education is invaluable and, for that, we say, ‘thank you.’”

About the Artis College of Science and Technology

The Artis College of Science and Technology, named in honor of the incredible generosity and longstanding support of Nancy E. Artis '73 and H. Pat Artis, Ph.D., prepares students to become successful professionals in a culturally diverse global economy that daily becomes technically and scientifically more complex. Economic competitiveness and global environmental issues inspire an intense focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to which the Artis College and its faculty are responding. The Artis College is home to eight departments focused on teaching and learning in STEM disciplines: anthropological sciences, biology, chemistry, geospatial science, geology, information technology, mathematics and statistics and physics. The Artis College also is home to the Pre-Health Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to students seeking careers in health-related fields such as dentistry, medicine, optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. In the spring of 2019, the Department of Information Technology introduced a new undergraduate cybersecurity degree, the first of its kind at any public, four-year institution in Virginia. The program is designed to meet the anticipated demand of three-and-half-million cybersecurity professionals by 2023.

About AEP Foundation

The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Appalachian Power. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the environment, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.

About Appalachian Power

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers.


Jul 2, 2019
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150