Category Archives: Grant

Female students at Pellissippi State get career jump-start with engineering internships

Pellissippi State Community College students Kathryne Farris, left, and Gabriela Sabin, right, spent their summers interning at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. Pictured with Harris and Sabin is Josh Brady, DENSO section leader in the machinery and tools division.
Pellissippi State Community College students Kathryne Farris, left, and Gabriela Sabin, right, spent their summers interning at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. Pictured with Farris and Sabin is Josh Brady, DENSO section leader in the machinery and tools division.

Although women make up about 61 percent of enrollees in Tennessee’s community colleges, they account for only 11 percent of students who enter engineering technology programs.

This summer, Pellissippi State Community College provided three of its female students, two of whom are pursuing an Engineering Technology degree and one who plans to transfer to a four-year institution to major in engineering, with a jump-start on their careers.

Thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, Pellissippi State was able to link all three students with engineering-related internships. The consortium, which is funded by NASA, is made up of five Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges. This is the first time that a NASA Space Grant has been awarded to Tennessee community colleges.

Kathryne Farris, who is in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology program, spent her summer working with DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee in Maryville. DENSO is one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers and one of the largest employers in Blount County.

 “I’ve appreciated the inside look at the business side of jobs after graduation — which honestly has been rather terrifying to think of for me,” she said. “This has most definitely helped. My fears of the unknown have been quelled a bit, and I feel like I could enter the workforce after graduation with some extra confidence.”

That’s the goal of the internships, says Lynn Klett, an assistant professor in Engineering Technology and the Pellissippi State faculty member in charge of the grant consortium. Klett also is a mentor to the grant participants.

The Pellissippi State portion of the grant is $110,715, $45,000 of which is earmarked for scholarships to students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs. The award is meant to boost enrollment among women and other underrepresented groups. The funding paid for the summer internship opportunities as part of the overall scholarship package for each Pellissippi State recipient.

Farris plans to graduate in May 2016. So does scholarship recipient Gabriela Sabin, a Computer Science student. Once she earns her degree at Pellissippi State, she intends to transfer to a university, majoring in engineering. Sabin also interned at DENSO.

“I’ve been shadowing an electrical engineering co-op student who is troubleshooting and powering up a new machine,” she said. “I feel like this internship is giving me useful experience into what working as an electrical engineer would be like. I like knowing that I’ve made something that works and that people will use.”

Makayla Edwards, like Farris, a Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Technology student, will take a different path once she graduates from Pellissippi State. Instead of continuing on to a four-year school, she’ll enter the workforce directly.

“[Earning a two-year degree] is much more hands-on and applicable,” she said. “My internship was at Pellissippi State, where I worked with professor Klett in additive manufacturing. Right now, I have a huge interest in 3D printing.”

This summer, Edwards built her own 3D printer from a kit with the help of Klett and student mentors. Currently, she’s working on the design of a bicycle made from bamboo, which is considered a renewable resource because of its quick growth rate. The moving parts will be made using a 3D printer.

“I would like to think that whatever I do in the future will impact the world in a positive way,” Edwards said. “The internship has given me really useful experience. Without it, I doubt I would have had such a jump-start on 3D printing and CAD [computer-aided design].”

NASA awarded a total of $499,689 to the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, which is headquartered at Vanderbilt University.

The award is the result of a proposal coordinated and submitted by the Pellissippi State Foundation. In total, the Pellissippi State portion of the grant will provide each of 11 students with a $4,000 scholarship.

In addition, the grant included funds to send a group from each of the community colleges to Florida to compete in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ SoutheastCon robotics event. It also will fund two grant participants to attend the 10-week Summer Robotics Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

For more information about this and other Foundation scholarships, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation/scholarships or call (865) 694-6528. For information about the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, email Klett at lbklett@pstcc.edu.

For more information about Pellissippi State and the Engineering Technology program, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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Makayla Edwards
Makayla Edwards spent the summer interning at Pellissippi State, where she worked with a 3D printer (foreground) to make, among other things, a small plastic lizard.
Gabriela Sabin and Josh Brady
Pellissippi State student Gabriela Sabin with Josh Brady, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.
Makayla Edwards
Makayla Edwards spent the summer interning at Pellissippi State, where she worked with a 3D printer (foreground).
Pellissippi State student Kathryne Farris with Josh Brady, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.
Pellissippi State student Kathryne Farris with Josh Brady, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

Pellissippi State awarded $50,000 by DENSO for automated manufacturing

Pellissippi State officials accept a donation of $50,000 from DENSO Wednesday, August 5. The donation will fund state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. Pictured, from left, are Holly Burkett, dean of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus; Emilie Denson, section leader of Human Resources for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Melissa Smith, program manager of Community Affairs for DENSO North America Foundation; Ted Lewis, Pellissippi State's vice president of Academic Affairs; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services.
Pellissippi State officials accept a donation of $50,000 from DENSO Wednesday, August 5. The donation will fund state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. Pictured, from left, are Holly Burkett, dean of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus; Emilie Denson, section leader of Human Resources for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Melissa Smith, program manager of Community Affairs for DENSO North America Foundation; Ted Lewis, Pellissippi State’s vice president of Academic Affairs; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services.

Automation is at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing — and Pellissippi State Community College is working with partners like DENSO Manufacturing to ensure that the college’s Automated Industrial Systems graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce.

“No question, partnerships like these are what we’re looking for in Drive to 55,” said Mike Krause, executive director of the state’s Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 initiatives. “This initiative isn’t just about getting students in school but encouraging them to graduate and then join the workforce. That’s what it’s all about.”

The DENSO North America Foundation has awarded Pellissippi State a $50,000 grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. The concentration prepares students to operate automated manufacturing equipment, including the programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment that are now the industry standard in manufacturing settings.

DENSO and Pellissippi State representatives gathered for a ceremonial check presentation Wednesday morning, Aug. 5, at the college’s Blount County Campus.

 “In order for students to be ready to go to work at the most advanced levels of manufacturing, we must continue to integrate newer technology into our programs,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We appreciate DENSO’s support in helping us achieve those goals.”

“Manufacturing is now high-tech. I don’t know of any manufacturing job that doesn’t include automation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies.

DENSO is a longtime supporter of Pellissippi State. Awards from the international automotive supplier during the past decade have included two grants that have helped the college build its Automated Industrial Systems concentration. The concentration was launched in 2013.

“In a global economy, DENSO is continually investing in ways to improve our competitiveness through highly skilled employees and advanced equipment,” said Mike Brackett, DENSO North America Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “This donation represents an investment in the future of our region, as well as in the advanced technology needed by our customers in the automotive industry.”

For more information about Automated Industrial Systems or other academic offerings at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State to study potential ophthalmic program

Pellissippi State Community College has received a grant from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee to study the feasibility of a new program for certified ophthalmic technicians.

The grant, one of 26 the Trinity Health Foundation awarded this year, is for the college’s proposal “New Insight: Seeing a Brighter Future with Ophthalmic Technician Training.” The $15,000 funding was announced at a luncheon for grant recipients June 3.

Pellissippi State will spend the next year exploring the need for both a degree and a certificate program for certified ophthalmic technicians aimed at meeting eye-care needs in rural East Tennessee. COTs work under the supervision of an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye problems, to perform clinical evaluations and office tasks like vision tests and photography.

“With an aging population, it’s anticipated that the demand for accessible eye care will continue to grow, too,” said Lisa Stamm, dean of Nursing at Pellissippi State and the person who will oversee the exploratory study. “If this study demonstrates that there is a significant need in our area for certified ophthalmic technicians, Pellissippi State would seek additional grant funding to get approval for that new program, start the curriculum and equip a training lab.”

Only one other college in Tennessee, Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, offers training in ophthalmic technology.

“Nationally, the need for COTs is expected to grow by 36 percent by the year 2020,” Stamm said. “Creating more ophthalmic technicians will increase access to eye care in East Tennessee.”

The grant study will include employer surveys to local optometrists and ophthalmologists to assess the need for a COT program, as well as visits to other higher education institutions that have similar programs. If the program is deemed needed and is approved, Pellissippi State will work with an advisory board of eye-care professionals to provide input on curriculum, student learning outcomes, and effectiveness of the program.

The $15,000 in funding is a phase-one, exploratory grant from Trinity Health Foundation. Pellissippi State will be eligible to apply for a phase-two, implementation grant, worth $150,000, which could provide enough money to equip a laboratory to train certified ophthalmic technicians.

The grant funds are processed through the Pellissippi State Foundation, which works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Summer 3D printing course for young women hosted by Pellissippi State

Hey, young women, want to make your own 3D printer this summer?

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a hands-on 3D printing class — for young females exclusively — June 8-12.

In MakeHERSpace, one of the college’s summer camp classes, female students who are rising eighth- through 12th-graders will discover about everything related to 3D printing. Students will learn how to use the beginner-friendly modeling program SketchUp, as well as assemble — and keep — their own 3D printer along with a basic toolkit and starter supplies.

MakeHERSpace is 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The class costs $450. Reserve a space at www.pstcc.edu/bcs.

Students in MakeHERSpace also have an opportunity to tour the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and to receive mentoring from women in engineering- and technology-related fields. Even after the course is over, students will have access to thousands of free 3D designs they can print at home.

“This class is specially created for young women,” said Lynn Klett, a Pellissippi State instructor in Engineering and Media Technologies who is teaching the summer camp class.

“So often, engineering or manufacturing have this stigma of being ‘masculine’ or intimidating. But we want women to understand that they can invent, create, make. They can do anything they want to do.”

MakeHERSpace is sponsored through a NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program grant. The grant seeks to boost enrollment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields among women and underrepresented students. The funding also pays for scholarships and other recruitment and retention activities.

For more information about this and other summer camp classes offered by the college’s Business and Community Services Division, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

To learn more about 3D printing and Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology degree program, visit www.pstcc.edu/emt or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State pilot retention program to focus on black male students

Pellissippi State Community College has received a $10,000 grant to improve the retention rates for black male students at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The Student Engagement, Retention and Success grant, awarded by the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State’s governing body, begins this fall. The pilot retention program will serve up to 50 students.

“Nationally, African-American male students have the lowest college completion rate—32.8 percent—among both genders and among all racial and ethnic groups in higher education,” said Rosalyn Tillman, dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The program’s objective is to provide assistance and encouragement for black male students to persist through college and graduate.

“The project is designed to provide empathetic advising sessions, workshops and a mentoring component to help our African-American male students in their pursuit of higher education,” said Tillman.

Specifically, the pilot program combines New Student Orientation sessions, success workshops, monthly developmental seminars and learning sessions, advising and academic tutoring, and mentorship to provide social and emotional support.

“Research often shows that African-American men struggle with barriers to academic success,” said Tillman. “They’re juggling jobs, managing finances, trying to meet family commitments, and they often combat other barriers like the absence of role models, low self-esteem, social exclusion or even the fear of success.

“All students need one-on-one support, but that’s often true for minority students. And sometimes that’s just having someone to talk to.”

For more information about the programs and resources offered by Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: TnCIS grant to build on statewide model of study abroad success

The Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State Community College, has received a $20,000 grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to promote and encourage study abroad opportunities for students through faculty and administrators.

The Student Engagement, Retention and Success Initiative grant will fund a training program for study abroad best practices at TnCIS’ annual conference in November. TBR is the governing body for the state’s 13 community colleges, including Pellissippi State, as well as for six universities and the 27 colleges of applied technology.

“The idea of this grant is to provide faculty and administrators from each of the TBR institutions with the latest training in studying abroad,” said Tracey Bradley, executive director of TnCIS. “This will allow those leaders to share with others and their institutions the best-practices approaches to encouraging students to consider study abroad as a part of their academic experience in college.”

The training will bring in experts from the Forum on Education Abroad to present on several standards of international education, including student recruitment and preparedness for studying abroad, student selection, and academic advising for study abroad. According to Bradley, The Forum’s study abroad training is considered the national standard.

“We want to make sure our own efforts not only meet but exceed that of the Forum,” Bradley said.

The training is meant to provide baseline knowledge of study abroad experiences to the people who most often encourage students to consider studying abroad.

“Having well-trained faculty and administrators has been part of the success we’ve had in Tennessee with study abroad,” said Bradley. “This training will help us continue and build on that success.

“Study abroad is one of the most empowering experiences in a student’s educational career, one that almost all students describe as ‘life changing,’” Bradley said. “Data nationwide has shown that students who participate in a study abroad experience are more likely to graduate from college, and recent studies have shown that students at two-year institutions who are academically low-achieving are the most impacted. Their likelihood of success and graduation improve vastly.”

TnCIS organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state. More than 400 students and 60 faculty from across Tennessee participated in 19 study abroad trips organized by TnCIS in 2014.

For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State participates in Blount County Manufacturing Week

Pellissippi State Community College is taking part in Blount County’s Manufacturing Week this week, culminating in the nationwide Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 3.

“Manufacturing is an important part of industry in this region,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “At Pellissippi State, we’re devoted to providing a state-of-the-art environment for education and workforce development. We support the education and training needed for manufacturing in East Tennessee—for new technicians, company employees, and students transitioning in their careers.”
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Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration that addresses common misperceptions about the industry. The day allows local manufacturers and community partners to connect and help ensure the prosperity of the entire industry.

Blount County Chamber of Commerce members will visit Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus on Friday to enjoy on-site demonstrations of a 3D printer, workforce development discussions and a tour of the Manufacturing/Technology Lab. This event is from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and registration is available at http://www.mfgday.com/events/2014/pellissippi-state-community-college-2.

Pellissippi State has a long history of partnering with local industry and providing education for those entering manufacturing fields. This fall at the Blount County Campus, the college launched the Automated Industrial Systems concentration in the Engineering Technology degree program.
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AIS prepares students to operate state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment, including programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment. The curriculum was drafted with help from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

Also this fall, in response to industry requests, Pellissippi State introduced a new Computer Aided Manufacturing certificate. Computer-aided manufacturing, or CAM, is specific computer programming that assists in detailed, precise machine movements used in the manufacturing process.

Pellissippi State is part of a number of community partnerships that support manufacturing in the area, including the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee, or AMP! Students working with AMP! participate each semester in an “Innovation Challenge” that pairs them with young companies in need of assistance in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

During the summer, Pellissippi State participated in an Advanced Manufacturing Internship program, a pilot effort sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Twenty-four student veterans received an accelerated, hands-on introduction to advanced manufacturing in partnership with Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
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The college also leads the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium, a partnership of six colleges throughout the Southeast that are working together to develop and expand innovative training programs in partnership with local employers, including Boatmate Trailers, Keurig Green Mountain, Knoxville Utilities Board, Standard Aero and Y-12 National Security Complex.

The consortium received $12.7 million in federal funding to support its efforts. At Pellissippi State, approximately $4.5 million of those funds will be used to expand welding, machining and manufacturing programs.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State receives $1 million for students with disabilities

One million dollars in funds to integrate new educational and career training strategies for students with disabilities was awarded to Pellissippi State Community College Monday, Sept. 29.

“All of our students deserve an equal opportunity to learn,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “This grant, the Universal Pathways to Employment Project, will help us deliver integrated education and career training to students with disabilities.”
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The Universal Pathways to Employment Project grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The award is renewable for the next five years, for up to $5,199,269. Vice President Joe Biden announced the grant as part of a $450 million job-training initiative, jointly administered by the federal departments of Labor and Education, to fund programs at roughly 270 community colleges across the country.

At Pellissippi State, the funds will be used to coordinate and expand academic and career support services, expand partnerships with local school systems and employers, and assist student with disabilities in obtaining assistance—both at the college and in outside systems like public transportation or housing.

The grant also will be used to employ new staff to handle the funds and support services, as well as to train faculty and staff in support for students with disabilities.
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“This grant puts the needed supports in place for students with disabilities,” said Ann Satkowiak, director of Disability Services. “We’ll work to identify any potential barriers to graduation that exist for students with disabilities, which could include improving accommodations or making programs and courses more accessible.”
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Funding, grants and scholarships at Pellissippi State are managed by the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

NASA to grant scholarships to Pellissippi State students

Enrollment in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—at community colleges across the U.S. comes up short for women and underrepresented students, but at Pellissippi State Community College, a new grant will seek to change that.

NASA has awarded $499,689 to the Tennessee Community College Space Grant Consortium, through the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium located at Vanderbilt University, as part of the NSPIRES (NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System) program. The consortium is made up of Pellissippi State and four other Tennessee Board of Regents colleges.

“Pellissippi State is a major provider of qualified engineering technicians to local manufacturers,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “Similarly, NASA is committed to increasing the number of students graduating with STEM degrees.
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“While women represent about 61 percent of the total enrollment in the state’s community colleges, they only account for about 11 percent of the enrollment in engineering technology programs.” Underrepresented groups make up about 13 percent of engineering technology program enrollment.

As part of the Community College Space Grant Consortium, the college plans to recruit more women and underrepresented groups into STEM-related associate’s degree and certificate programs, particularly in the areas of engineering technology and robotics.

The grant will provide $45,000 in scholarships to Pellissippi State. This is the first time that a Space Grant scholarship has been awarded to Tennessee community college students.

The grant also will help the school hire a part-time “completion coach” to provide Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology students the support they need to graduate. The Engineering Technology program culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Additionally, it will pay for membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, as well as for travel to the IEEE SoutheastCon’s robotics competition and the NASA Summer Robotics Institute at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
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Other members of the consortium include Cleveland State Community College, Columbia State Community College, Northeast State Community College and Roane State Community College.

For more information on the grant or the college’s engineering technology offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Blount County adds Automated Industrial Systems courses to fall offerings

3 people standing in front of wall with 2 shaking hands
L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State Community College president, left, accepts a check from Mike Brackett, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee’s senior vice president of corporate services and DENSO International America Inc.’s vice president of North American corporate planning and human resources, on behalf of the College and the Pellissippi State Foundation on Friday, Aug. 1. At right is Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

Pellissippi State Community College will offer courses in the college’s newest Engineering Technology concentration, Automated Industrial Systems, at its Blount County Campus this fall. Registration is going on now.

Automated Industrial Systems is one of seven concentrations in the Engineering Technology associate’s degree program. AIS prepares students to operate state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment, including programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment. The concentration launched at the Hardin Valley Campus in 2013 through a partnership with DENSO North America Foundation.

Pellissippi State is able to purchase equipment to expand the AIS concentration to Blount County thanks to a $48,500 grant from the DENSO Foundation.

“Because of support from the DENSO North America Foundation and our partnership with DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we’ve often been able to keep our engineering technologies and workforce training programs on the cutting edge,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

The grant was awarded through the Pellissippi State Foundation. Funds will go toward the purchase of 20 soldering stations; five Allen-Bradley programmable logic controllers; and 10 National Instruments Elvis II Plus modular platforms. The platforms combine several tools, including oscilloscopes, digital multimeters and dynamic signal analyzers, into one device.

“This grant will provide a state-of-the-art environment for workforce development,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“It will support the education and training needed for manufacturing in the East Tennessee region—for new technologists, company employees, and students transitioning in their careers.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For information about scholarships and grants offered through the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

To learn more about AIS and other Engineering Technology concentrations, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

 

About the DENSO North America Foundation
A registered 501(c)3 corporate foundation, The DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs. Founded in 2001, the Foundation provides grants to colleges and universities throughout North America, helping our communities prosper through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. The Foundation also provides disaster relief grants through the American Red Cross to aid persons and communities in which DENSO operates. For more information, visit http://densofoundation.org