“I encourage you to continue your efforts with BEST. Demonstrating to young students their potential and providing them with hands-on experience is essential to planting the desire for a postsecondary education and encouraging them to pursue that desire.” – Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor, State of Michigan.






“It is wonderful that the BEST program is providing high school and college students with opportunities to work over the summer in paid science and technology apprenticeships. Everyday we see the importance of research in these fields as we meet new technological challenges and compete in a global marketplace.” – Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator, State of Michigan.





“I applaud your efforts to make the important linkage between high school and college for students across Southwest Michigan. The BEST Program is an excellent example of bringing real-world experiences and education to our young people. It is critical to our economic future that we have students trained in research and development activities.” – Fred Upton, Representative, 6th Congressional District, State of Michigan.





“I am pleased to support and endorse the efforts of BEST in my community of Benton Harbor.  BEST exemplifies the type of nongovernmental organization that unconditionally gives our youth opportunities to build themselves and our community.  Benton Harbor embraces  Professor Murray's vision for our youth, that they too can become scientists, engineers and mathematicians." – Wilce Cooke, Mayor, City of Benton Harbor, State of Michigan.





Our initial efforts to involve students in early research participation opportunities began with no money, insufficient resources and research infrastructure, minimal support and against skepticism of all types. While the effort is not yet where we want it to be, it has come a long way. However, the successes achieved is in part due to a wide variety of partnerships and support. These include:


  • Andrews University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Andrews University Scholarly Research
  • Michigan Works!
  • Benton Harbor Youth Works


  • Princella Tobias, Publisher, Benton Spirit Community Newspaper
  • Dr. Kim Albizati, graduate school advisor
  • Dr. Bill Mutch, former Chair, Andrews University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Dr. Sherine Obare,  Associate Professor of Chemistry, Western Michigan University
  • Dr. Bill Chobotar, Professor of Biology, Andrews University
  • Dr. James Hageman, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Colorado Denver
  • Dr. Joseph S. Francisco, 2010 President, American Chemical Society
  • Dennis Lundgren and Tonya Synder, Berrien County Math Science Center
  • Lynn Stevens, Business Review
  • Keith Cooley, former Director, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth
  • Chuck Wilbur, Senior Education Advisor to Governor Granholm
  • Kevin Richard, Science Education Consultant, Michigan Department of Education



  • American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund
  • American Chemical Society Project SEED
  • National Science Foundation
  • TAPPI Foundation