SCF Foundation Awards Inaugural Myakka Research Scholarship

(Bradenton, Fla., May 12, 2016) — The State College of Florida Foundation has chosena recipient for the inaugural Myakka Research Group Science Scholarship, funded through Ray Baden and the Manatee Community Foundation.

Zachary Michel, a freshman at SCF, received the $1,500 scholarship for the Spring 2016 semester. To qualify for the scholarship, recipients must be an active participant in the Myakka Research Internship program and have 40 hours of internship experience with the program.

“When MRG made the decision to establish an internship/scholarship position, Zach stood out from a pool of top student-volunteers,” said Jose Ors, chair of SCF’s natural sciences department.

Michel volunteered with the Myakka Research Group, which is researching ways to identify myriad explosive materials that can be used in terrorist attacks. He was interested in the real-life applications of the classroom and laboratory knowledge he has gained through his coursework at SCF, said Ors, who coordinates the Myakka Research Internship program for SCF and helps select the students who participate. In addition to the volunteer work, recipients must participate in at least one other program in the lab.

“As he became more involved in the work, Zach clearly demonstrated intelligence, excitement, teamwork and leadership qualities,” Ors said.  “He would naturally fill in where needed and complete assignments/tasks with quality and independence. One of MRG’s goals was to establish a relationship with SCF, in part because they recognized the quality of SCF students that were volunteering in their R&D facility.”

“Our decision to create and fund this scholarship program was inspired by the bright and motivated students who have participated in our project this past operating year,” said Chris Baden, who founded the Myakka Research Group with his father Ray Baden.

For information on SCF’s natural sciences department, contact Ors at 941-752-5608 or For information on MRG, visit or go to the group’s Facebook page. For information about the Foundation or its scholarships, contact Allison Nash at 941-752-5653 or

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