When Ava Lambert and Joel Tombisammy started consolidating the quality control labs at Philips, they realized they'd have some extra lab equipment and they saw an opportunity for Philips to give back to the community.
As a QC Chemist, Lambert recognized their cache of lab equipment could be especially beneficial for the Chemistry and Biology programs at North Hennepin Community College. After reaching out to Laura Brandt, Interim Foundation Director at NHCC, the wheels were set in motion for the donation.
On a snowy day in March, Lambert and Tombisammy visited campus and brought boxes full of useful lab equipment. NHCC's staff were thrilled to receive and sort through the collection.
"NHCC has strong STEM programs and facilities, and generous equipment donations like this one from Philips help ensure our STEM programs and students continue to thrive," said Jayant Anand, Dean of NHCC's School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Anand gave the guests a tour of NHCC's labs, and during the tour, the group spoke of the importance of undergraduate research, future partnership opportunities, and the career paths of chemistry majors.
Both Lambert and Tombisammy started college with medical school in mind and not only found they were interested in chemistry, but chemistry was full of career opportunities.
"There are so many jobs you're qualified for once you get out in the field," said Lambert.
When asked what advice he'd give a chemistry major, Tombisammy replied, "Sometimes we focus too much on a set plan and going for it. Don't box yourself in by focusing on a title. Be open and see what's out there. You can do a lot of different things with Chemistry, it applies in so many different areas."
Tombisammy spoke from experience as he took his chemistry degree from working in pharmaceuticals to being Senior Manager of Analytical Services for a medical device division of Philips.
When Tombisammy first arrived, he talked about Philips' focus on recycling, being mindful of their impact on the environment, and their desire to support the local community. Speaking of the donation, he said, "Hopefully it helps make a difference. That's the goal."
By the time the tour wrapped up, it was clear how generous gifts like this can impact students at NHCC.