Longtime CCS Donor Supports STEAM Initiative and Shares Memories

By
Columbia Community Service
August 07, 2019

A longtime donor to Columbia Community Service, Professor Edward Leonard of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University, went beyond the call of the Annual “Back to School Campaign” to donate a research microscope to CCS Grantee, Triple F Empowerment, an organization that works to inspire, empower and encourage the young people of Harlem to pursue education and careers in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) fields. Stephanie Farmer, Founder and Executive Director, had been interested in acquiring a "real microscope" for her Science Club equipment to impart a deeper understanding of biology and proper laboratory equipment usage to her students.

Professor Leonard shared the unique history behind the microscope. It originally belonged to Dr. Leo Vroman, a dear friend and researcher at the Brooklyn VA hospital. “In spite of his truly great discoveries (many textbooks identify them as “Vroman Effect”) when he got to be of retirement age the VA closed his lab. Dr. Vroman came to my lab, with equipment from the VA, and continued his work with us. He died only recently when he was in his 90's. We did some publishing together but he had already made the 'breakthrough' discovery before he came to us.”

In the near future, Professor Leonard hopes to visit with Triple F Empowerment students to explain more about the blood clotting process. Ms. Farmer plans to use the microscope primarily for a study of the pond located in Morningside Park. Her students would learn about sample collection, data analysis and present their findings to a panel. You can learn more about how CCS donors give back to the community by visiting the CCS website.