Educating and influencing change

With many young people graduating and leaving the state to pursue careers elsewhere, Jeanette Grasselli Brown is on a mission.

Brown wants to get Ohioans in college, succeeding in school and accepting great jobs in Ohio upon graduation. She contributes toward improving this quality of life by working with many organizations including Cleveland Scholarship Programs Inc., dedicated to providing career guidance and assistance for students from elementary school through college graduation.

Brown is immediate past chair of the group and has worked on the board for 13 years to educate and encourage Cleveland-area students to pursue college degrees. She also encourages women and minorities to enter careers in science.

Brown, a Cleveland native, earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Ohio University and her master of science degree from Case Western Reserve University. She also received honorary degrees from Ohio University, Case Western Reserve University and Michigan Technological University. In addition, she completed the Executive Management School at the University of California, Berkeley.

Brown worked in industrial research for 38 years and retired in 1989 as director of corporate research for BP America (formerly The Standard Oil Co.). She has one patent, 80 publications and nine books in the field of vibrational spectroscop. She has lectured at more than 100 universities around the world and given more than 600 talks to civic groups and laboratories.

According to CSP, only 25 percent of Ohioans hold a bachelor’s degree, a statistic that Brown is aggressively working with CSP to improve. And their efforts are paying off.

During the 2003-2004 academic year, CSP awarded $2.8 million in postsecondary scholarships to almost 2,000 individuals. It also provided counseling and advising — beginning as early as elementary school and through the completion of postsecondary education — to nearly 5,800 students in 65 schools during 31,700 sessions. And its adult lerner program assists students ages 19 and above in returning to school.

Brown was instrumental in increasing the number of scholarships CSP awards and in expanding the services it provides to students. She also increased awareness about the program in the Cleveland community and inspired students, staff and board members.

As a result of Brown’s efforts and a CSP networking program, 82 percent of CSP students remain in Northeast Ohio after graduation to use their educations to better their local communities.

HOW TO REACH: Cleveland Scholarship Programs Inc., (216) 241-5587,