In 2016, Dr. Michael and Mrs. Jackie Hirsch, the president and owner of ISEA TEK, respectively, endowed a scholarship to the West Chester University Department of Mathematics. The Grosshans-Hirsch Applied Mathematics Scholarship was created in honor of Dr. Frank Grosshans, professor emeritus at West Chester University.

Each year, the West Chester University Department of Mathematics honors it high achieving students with monetary awards and recognition at the annual mathematics awards banquet. Dr. Hirsch graduated West Chester University in May of 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics with a computer science concentration. In addition, Dr. Hirsch received awards at the mathematics banquet in the three years he was eligible: 1994, 1995, and 1996. These awards were very important to Dr. Hirsch, for the recognition of his accomplishments in the classroom increased his drive for learning and achievement.

Dr. Grosshans had a big influence on Dr. Hirsch during, and after, his time at West Chester. The impact and belief Dr. Grosshans had in Dr. Hirsch made a profound difference in Dr. Hirschs’ life and career. The endowment and scholarship is dedicated to Dr. Grosshans as a testament that one person can make a difference in another’s life.

The goal of the Hirsch family is to grow the endowment so that it can impact the lives of more exceptional students of the mathematical science, and let them know that people believe in them. “Sometimes that extra spark is what can help keep the fire going, to have the desire to move forward and make an impact.”

The Grosshans-Hirsch Applied Mathematics Scholarship was created to recognize outstanding undergraduate students in the applied mathematical sciences. Qualifying students must earn an A- or higher in at least one of four applied mathematics courses and demonstrate a record of or potential for academic achievement and research in the opinion of the applied mathematics faculty.

One of the nice things about the endowment is that anyone can donate and help make an impact. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to the West Chester University Foundation page dedicated to the Grosshans-Hirsch Applied Mathematics Endowment.

In 2016, the Grosshans-Hirsch Applied Mathematics Scholarship was awarded to Mr. Jeremy Way, a junior majoring in Industrial Mathematics at West Chester University, and scheduled to graduate in December of 2017. He has been on the Dean’s list every semester, and he has earned a 4.0 GPA. Mr. Way credits his success at West Chester to his innate drive to succeed, as well as the support he receives from his family, friends, and professors. His favorite mathematics course so far has been Mathematical Modeling, where Mr. Way has seen first-hand real applied mathematics in action. After he graduates West Chester, Mr. Way is looking to pursue a Masters degree in computational science. He has his sights on winning a scholarship to attend a program in South Korea. His long-term career goals are to apply mathematics to the environmental and agricultural fields.

Dr. Grosshans (left) and Dr. Hirsch talking after the 2016 Awards Banquet.


Dr. and Mrs. Hirsch at the 2016 Awards Banquet.

Dr. Hirsch discussing his time at West Chester University and the purpose of the scholarship, at the 2016 Awards Banquet.

Dr. Hirsch presenting the award certificate to Mr. Way, at the 2016 Awards Banquet.

In 2017, the Grosshans-Hirsch Applied Mathematics Scholarship was awarded to Ms. Stacy Porten-Willson, a senior majoring in Applied and Computational Mathematics, with a minor in Physics. Her favorite mathematics class at West Chester was Real Analysis, and credited this class with solidifying her proof writing skills. She spent most of her free time working with Dr. Li on parabolic interface problems. This research was presented at multiple conferences, and won the Research in Mathematics award. Stacy graduated from West Chester in the spring semester of 2018 and received a scholarship to pursue a PhD degree in bio-mathematics at Florida State University.

Dr. McKibben presenting the Grosshans-Hirsch Applied Mathematics Scholarship award to Ms. Porten-Willson at the 2017 Awards Banquet. Dr. and Mrs. Hirsch were unable to attend the awards ceremony in 2017.