Bergland, Chapman awarded SEF STEM scholarships

Erik Bergland, left, and Madison Chapman were presented with the first SEF STEM scholarships.

Erik Bergland, left, and Madison Chapman were presented with the first SEF STEM scholarships.

Erik Bergland and Madison Chapman have been named recipients of the Southington Education Foundation’s inaugural scholarships, providing $1,000 to each awardee.

Bergland was awarded the SEF STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Scholarship. He plans on studying applied mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. In an essay, he relates that his greatest wish is to have the opportunity to study applied mathematics and use it to unveil the greatest mysteries of science.

Bergland was the Class of 2015 Salutatorian and has been honored with many academic awards. As a junior, he received the Rensselaer Medal awarded to the top mathematics student. He has also placed in essay contests displaying his skills in written expression. A well-rounded student, Bergland has been involved in activities such as “Urinetown,” a recent Drama Club presentation. He is also actively involved with community service and serves as a math tutor.

Madison Chapman was selected for the SEF Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who has shown his or herself to be civic-minded and has demonstrated the desire to help school, community, and/or country.

Chapman has chosen to attend American University in Washington, D.C. with a double major in musical theater and either education or communication disorders. While at Southington High School, she attended the Greater Academy of the Arts and has been honored her theatre and vocal skills and her academic achievement.

Chapman has committed many hours to a variety of volunteer and community service projects. She has served as co-chair of the Winter Clothing Drive and been a continuing volunteer for the Salvation Army Benefit Performance. In her essay she shared the rewards of using her skills in vocals and choreography to connect with girls who struggle with communication skills.

“We had a large pool of candidates for these inaugural scholarships,” SEF scholarship chair Kelley Nolan-Maccione said in a press release. “However, we (the committee) felt Erik and Madison embody the spirit of the STEM and Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. scholarships, respectively.”

Bergland is the son of Robert and Lori Bergland. Chapman is the daughter of Christopher and Jill Chapman.

The SEF is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 to support enriching and creative initiatives in education.  The STEM scholarship is one part of a Five-Prong Commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Past superintendent Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. was a catalyst for the formation of the foundation, and during his tenure he encouraged many to be active in the Southington community.

For more information visit the SEF website at

Leave a Reply