Charles City Rotary asks community to help establish ‘Ellen Bengtson Memorial Scholarship’

The Rotary Club of Charles City is requesting the community’s support to help establish the Ellen Bengtson Memorial Scholarship Fund with the Floyd County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa which is confirmed in compliance with national standards for U.S. community foundations.

Ellen Bengtson was a Charles City Rotary Club member and an environmental engineer at Cambrex Charles City, Inc. Her life ended in a tragic bicycle accident near Charles City on August 2, 2020.

The Ellen Bengtson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a female student applicant who is pursuing a degree in engineering, math or chemistry at an accredited post-secondary institution.

Ellen earned her Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Yale University (2014), and her Master’s Degree (2019) in chemical engineering from Columbia University in New York. She grew up in Richland, Washington, where she graduated from Richland High School in 2010 and was a 2010 Rotary Scholarship Recipient. She also received a high school diploma from Stanford University’s online high school through the Education Program for Gifted Youth. Prior to Cambrex, her positions included: research assistant at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (2011); research assistant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2012); Chemical Engineering Intern at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (2014); and Knowledge Management Intern at Bayer HealthCare in Leverkusen, Germany (2014).

The Floyd County Community Foundation was selected to hold the fund because of its experience with managing scholarships in Iowa. Additionally, donations to endowed funds with a qualified community foundation, like the Floyd County Community Foundation, are eligible for a 25% state tax credit on the total value of the gift through the Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program. All qualified donors can carry forward the tax credit for up to five years after the year the donation was made. More information about Endow Iowa can be found at


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