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Local businesses donate nearly $45k to Whatcom’s STEM programs

Post Date:01/11/2018 12:00 pm

Pictured below is WCC chemistry faculty Dr. Tommaso Vannelli (left) and instruction classroom support technician Mark Price with the Chemco donation.

Tommaso and MarkBellingham, Wash. – Local business leaders Chemco, Phillips 66 and Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund donated $44,000 in goods and monetary funds to support Whatcom Community College’s (WCC) growing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. 

Chemco donated more than $31,000 in equipment for use in WCC’s chemistry lab. The high performance liquid chromatography system (HPLC), along with a differential scanning calorimeter, analyzes a variety of complex mixtures from pesticides to vitamins. Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery and Tulalip donated $10,000 and $3,000 respectively to the College to purchase software for the HPLC and the differential scanning calorimeter. The software is essential to convert the analog signal from the instruments into a digital signal computers can process and vice versa.

STEM students are more likely to continue their degrees when they have access to hands-on, authentic laboratory experiences. With these instruments, Whatcom students will get exposure to techniques and methodology they will likely encounter in professional careers as scientists, engineers and technicians. It also enables them to do university-level research at WCC. More than 170 students each year will benefit from these donations.

About Whatcom:

Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve 11,000 students annually. The College works closely with industry to prepare graduates to excel in their fields and meet emerging business trends. On its campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers a four-year bachelor of applied science, transfer and professional-technical degrees, as well as basic education, job skills training, and community education classes. For more information, visit


Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310,

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