Scholarship to Benefit Mount Jewett, Kane Students

Anna and Art Turnquist

BRADFORD – A new scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will benefit students from the Mount Jewett-Kane area who would like to pursue a science or math major.

Mary Ann Lambertsen made a $100,000 gift to the university to endow The Anna and Art Turnquist Mount Jewett Scholarship Fund in honor of her parents.

First preference for the scholarships will be given to students who demonstrate some sort of financial need, are math or science majors and are from Mount Jewett. Second preference will be given to students meeting the same qualifications, but who are from Kane.

Lambertsen grew up an only child in Mount Jewett and graduated from Kane High School in 1957. Her mother was a nurse, and her father worked for the railroad as a “track man,” a worker who laid and took care of tracks. They laid another kind of foundation for Lambertsen, also.

“I wanted to honor my parents because they said, ‘You can do and be anything you want to be,’ and didn’t put any limits on that,” she said. “They didn’t say, ‘You have to be a teacher’ or ‘You have to be a nurse,’ and that was, I think, pretty unusual at that time.”

Mary Ann Lambertsen

Art Turnquist left his formal schooling in eighth grade to get a job, but had a quick mind and learned trigonometry on the job while laying out track for the railroad.

In high school, Lambertsen loved science and was mentored by a teacher who taught biology, chemistry and physics. He encouraged her to attend the Carnegie Institute of Technology (today Carnegie-Mellon University).  She turned down a scholarship to another college after she was accepted at Carnegie because of the reputation Carnegie had in the sciences.

“Teachers can play a huge role in what their students can do,” she said.

Although she received a scholarship from Stackpole Carbon, Lambertsen also worked nights as a switchboard operator to pay her tuition. Her parents helped, too, but “they were not wealthy people,” she said.

Lambertsen went on to get a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Columbia University,  then worked for Ohio Bell, Bell Laboratories and eventually AT&T before becoming the vice president of human resources for Fisher-Price in East Aurora, N.Y.

But Mount Jewett stayed close to her heart, and when she found out that the elementary school in town had closed at the end of the 2006-07 school year, she joined the Mount Jewett Charter School Coalition, helping them raise money for a charter school. When plans for the charter school fell through, she looked for another way to benefit students in Mount Jewett.

“I wanted to encourage the students of Mount Jewett to go on to college, especially in the science and math areas, because I think you can contribute a lot to the world with that kind of background,” she said.

Lambertsen said she will continue to honor her parents and help students from her hometown by adding contributions to the scholarship fund.

For more information on creating a scholarship at Pitt-Bradford, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement at (814) 362-5091 or jballard@pitt.edu.


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