Preparing the Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow

Community News

Group of students from OSU visit MPC
Students in the college's PREFACE (Pre-First-Year Academic and Career Engagement) program had the opportunity to tour one of Marathon’s refineries during the summer. (Photo Nov. 2017. Courtesy: The Ohio State University – College of Engineering Communications)

In 2017, Marathon Petroleum pledged $150,000 to The Ohio State University College of Engineering to support diversity and student success initiatives. Since then, MPC’s investment has provided students with scholarships and enabled the PREFACE (Pre-First-Year Academic and Career Engagement) program to grow by 25 percent. MPC employees have also made frequent visits to the Ohio State campus and offered numerous tours of our facilities, including our refinery in Canton, Ohio.

Ohio State’s PREFACE program was one of the first in the country and has served as a model for hundreds of other bridge programs across the U.S.

“PREFACE was a great way for me to get a chance to adjust to what college would be like before actually starting,” said Grant Brooks, now a fourth-year computer science and engineering major. “Without PREFACE, it would have taken me longer to understand what it takes to be successful in the College of Engineering and I would have missed out on a ton of resources and a great support system that have helped me during my academic journey.”

According to Ron Parker, assistant director of the Minority Engineering Program, “Research has shown that engineering students—particularly those from underrepresented minorities—who have peer and professional mentors are more likely to persist and succeed in the field.”

“MPC is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace,” said Jaime De La Cruz, MPC’s director of Human Resources – Organizational Capability. “We appreciate our partnership with The Ohio State University, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to play a small part in developing the next generation of engineers.”

Since its inception, PREFACE has graduated more than 500 engineers—many of them choosing MPC to begin their professional careers.

This article was adapted from Investing in the engineering leaders of tomorrow in the OSU College of Engineering publication, Forward.