Giving Back: Dr. Paul and Joan Stromberg | Ohio Sea Grant

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Giving Back: Dr. Paul and Joan Stromberg

12:00 pm, Sat November 1, 2014 – A few Stone Lab alumni went the extra mile to include the lab in their estate, contributing to Lake Erie research and education long after they are gone

Stone Lab students always maintain a special connection to their time on the island. Many will return as Friends of Stone Lab to help with annual events, or they support the lab through donations. And then there are a few alumni who go the extra mile and include Stone Lab in their estate, contributing to Lake Erie research and education long after they themselves are gone.

Dr. Paul and Joan Stromberg

Stone Lab Research Building

In addition to summer college courses, gifts to Stone Lab support year-round science programs for kids and adults, as well as educational tours and renovations to the historic facilities.

Paul and Joan have made Stone Lab a beneficiary in their estate to create the Paul C. and Joan L. Stromberg Endowment Fund. Once established, the fund will provide scholarships to graduate students completing research projects at Stone Lab, or it will benefit undergraduate researchers in the absence of graduate students.

Paul first came to Stone Lab as an undergrad in 1966, sampling mussels for parasites as part of his work with Dr. John L. Crites in the zoology department at The Ohio State University. He returned in the summer of 1967 and as a graduate research associate from 1969-73, when he received his Ph.D. In addition, he was a post-doc at Stone Lab in 1974.

“I was thrilled to see the lab for the first time and will never forget that first glimpse of Gibraltar as the Miller Ferry rounded Peach Point,” Paul remembers. “I was hooked at that moment.”

“Paul was an excellent example of the gifted, dedicated and hard-working graduate students working with Dr. Crites at Stone Lab,” says Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab director Dr. Jeff Reutter.

While Paul was doing research on Gibraltar Island, Joan worked in a number of island businesses, and she managed the Stone Lab bookstore in 1972. The two had met in college, married in 1970, and even got to live in Bayview, the current Stone Lab administration building, in 1974.

Their planned gift came about because they want to give future student researchers at Stone Lab the same opportunities they had.

“John Crites was the most important mentor in my life. His example of generosity, commitment to teaching and students and of giving back is what prompted this gift,” says Paul, who also completed a veterinary medicine degree at Ohio State. “His connection to Stone Lab and our exceptional experience cemented it as a unique place for students and a valuable resource for Ohio State. The bequest is a small way we can pay back and help to ensure it will continue to provide opportunity for students to reap the benefits of working and studying there.”

“This generous gift from Paul and Joan is greatly appreciated and will help student researchers forever,” Reutter acknowledges. “I hope many other former faculty members and students will consider following their wonderful example.”

ARTICLE TITLE: Giving Back: Dr. Paul and Joan Stromberg PUBLISHED: 12:00 pm, Sat November 1, 2014 | MODIFIED: 11:15 am, Tue September 24, 2019
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Christina Dierkes
Outreach Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

As Ohio Sea Grant’s science writer, Christina covers research, education and outreach projects in the Great Lakes for a wide range of audiences. She also produces online events like the Freshwater Science webinar series and other outreach events, and manages social media for Ohio Sea Grant.