• Mike Bunge
  • Fri January 15 2021
  • Posted Jan 18, 2021

A scholarship fund in memory of a Charles City woman killed in a bicycle accident will help aspiring female scientists.

Ellen Bengston died on August 2, 2020, near Charles City when her bicycle was hit by a pickup truck.

“Our family hopes that scholarships from this fund will have a positive impact on the lives of women for years to come,” says Peter Bengtson, Ellen’s father and fund founder. “Ellen’s life was tragically and senselessly cut short. This scholarship through the Floyd County Community Foundation is one way of creating something good.”

Cambrex Charles City, where the 28-year-old Bengston worked as an environmental engineer, contributed $10,000 to the scholarship fund. Organizers say other individual donations have jump-started the scholarship fund with a $50,000 goal and it will support an annual $2,000 scholarship in perpetuity.

The Floyd County Community Foundation says 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.

Gifts to the Ellen Bengtson Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made online at For questions about the fund, contact Terry Gaumer, affiliate development director with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, at (319) 243-1354 or

Past Ellen Bengston News





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