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Maria Alverio Wins Inaugural Jean Bye AFS Women in Metalcasting Scholarship

Pam Lechner

To honor the extraordinary 47-year career of Jean Bye, AFS Women in Metalcasting (WIM) together with the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF) created a scholarship to invest in creative and technically-trained female students who are passionate about metalcasting. The goal of the Jean Bye AFS Women in Metalcasting Scholarship is to encourage innovation and leadership for our industry, while giving back to help the next generation pursuing a manufacturing career.

Thanks to generous donations from Dotson Iron Castings, Air Products Foundation, and others, FEF and WIM created this endowment that will fund the scholarship in perpetuity. During the 2022 AFS CastExpo Women in Metalcasting breakfast, the initial Jean Bye AFS Women in Metalcasting Scholarship was presented to Maria Alverio, a graduate student from the University of Northern Iowa.  

“The vision Jean Bye had, with others, to create a space for women to connect, support, and learn from one another led to the founding of Women in Metalcasting,” said Liz Ulman, vice president, Dotson Iron Castings. “Jean experienced and has shared some of the challenges and opportunities she faced in the industry. Her goal was to create a more inclusive space for women in the industry. Maria is a great example of how the future of women in metalcasting is bright!”   

Mindy Fitzgerald, director of Diversity, Culture, and Engagement at Air Products, agrees. “At Air Products, we are reimagining and creating a workforce where women are present, included, and thriving in manufacturing industries. That’s why we are committed to the education of rising female talent. This commitment is demonstrated through our scholarship giving and belief in women supporting women. We are so excited Maria is receiving this award and wish her the best.”   

During the presentation, Alverio thanked Bye for being a “role model” for all the women who aspire to be leaders in the metalcasting industry. Additionally, she thanked WIM and FEF for providing opportunities for women to learn from each other and for monetary and other support during their academic journey.

Alverio became interested in metalcasting as a freshman: “Seeing molten aluminum for the first time, I knew metalcasting was what I wanted to do the rest of my life.” She has not only excelled in her classroom and lab courses, Alverio has also been involved in competition and fundraising activities with the UNI AFS student chapter and has had the pleasure of introducing metalcasting to middle school girls with the SWE New Horizon workshop. During her collegiate years, she expanded her experiences through internships with Clow Valve and Carley Foundry. She graduated this past spring and is looking forward to beginning her career as a process engineer.

FEF and WIM will be presenting this scholarship next year at Metalcasting Congress in Cleveland. If you would like additional information about this scholarship or to make a donation, please go to fefinc.org/jean-bye-scholarship.html.