Professor’s gift strengthens research opportunities for chemistry students

David Sparkman

David Sparkman

A generous gift from University of the Pacific Adjunct Chemistry Professor O. David Sparkman will allow doctoral students to focus on research and planning their careers.

The $500,000 donation for students in the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program will provide support as an endowed scholarship. 

“The workload for [Chemistry] fellowships leaves little time for the research that can lead to important published works,” Sparkman said. “My goal was to establish a scholarship program that will cover Chemistry PhD students’ stipend for their last one or two years so that they can concentrate on research and publications.”  

The gift is eligible for the Powell Match program, which will eventually put the endowment at $1 million.

Sparkman oversees the department’s mass spectrometry facility, offering instrumentation that provides the opportunity for faculty members to maintain an active research program across chemistry sub-disciplines.

“This scholarship will allow current and future faculty to expand their research goals to the better of the university’s reputation,” Sparkman said. 

Jianhua Ren, professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Chemistry, calls the scholarship unique.

“This gives students the foundation for lifelong advancement in their career because of concentrated time on research. They can be focused,” Ren said. “On the program side, this will help us retain and attract more highly talented students to pursue their PhD degrees in chemistry and science.”