Messer Construction Co. supports diversity programming at UC and UC Health

Gifts to both organizations foster an inclusive community

Messer Construction Co. is partnering with the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) and UC Health to establish two funds that support diversity and inclusion programs. This contribution represents Messer’s philanthropic culture and commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community.

“As an employee-owned company, this investment truly comes from our entire organization,” said Tim Steigerwald, President and CEO of Messer. “I commend UC’s commitment to bringing more diversity into engineering and construction management programs, as well as UC Health’s efforts to advance equity in health care. This is a meaningful way to put our purpose — building better lives for our customers, communities and each other — into action.”

man wearing suit

Tim Steigerwald, president and CEO of Messer Construction Co.

Messer is a longtime benefactor of CEAS and its Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement (IECE). Both the college and Messer strive to create a diverse pipeline of future engineers because it bolsters both the industry and our global society. 

The Messer Inclusive Excellence Fund will support initiatives and programs of IECE, such as CPS Strong and Summer STEM Bridge, that eliminate barriers and encourage underrepresented students. Through CPS Strong, Cincinnati Public Schools high school students can access the chemistry and physics classes required for CEAS applicants.

In addition, the Summer Bridge STEM program is a seven-week experience that helps students successfully transition from high school to college.

“Through inclusion, our goal is to expand opportunity and enhance the diversity of perspectives and ideas in engineering practice and culture,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto. “Messer’s continued support of the engineering talent pipeline and creation of these new funds are visionary steps that will have a positive impact on the future. We thank them for their partnership.”

woman in white suit

Whitney Gaskins, PhD, assistant dean of IECE.

The college recently celebrated 30 years of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for underrepresented minority students. Whitney Gaskins, PhD, assistant dean of IECE, said Messer’s gift will continue the important work of creating opportunities for future and current students.

“Industry partners like Messer make an impact on hundreds of elementary, middle school and high school students through community outreach,” she said. “We also engage with current students through various minority-serving student, LGBTQ+ and veteran organizations in the college.”

At UC Health, the Messer Diversity Discretionary Fund will be used for new initiatives and programs aimed at increasing awareness and addressing the need for racial and ethnic diversity in health care. This work will be spearheaded by UC Health’s first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Jeanetta Darno, MBA, SPHR. 

woman wearing black blazer

Jeanetta Darno, UC Health chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer

Darno said the fund will support strategies, initiatives and programs aligned to building cultural competency around implicit bias and advancing data-driven systemic and sustainable change that increases employee engagement, contributes to UC Health’s business goals and supports positive patient outcomes.

This gift supports student success and health initiatives, both priorities of Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati, the comprehensive fundraising campaign for UC and UC Health. 

Featured image:  Engineering Research Center. Photo/Corrie Mayer/CEAS Marketing.

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