Developing the Next Generation of STEM Talent in Beauty

The Estée Lauder Companies’ (ELC) collaborations with universities and other academic institutions around the world continue to help the company’s Research & Development (R&D) teams stay on the cutting edge of scientific research, while also developing the next generation of leaders in STEM. This spring, ELC is proud to celebrate one such collaboration as a cohort of students at Farmingdale State College (FSC) completes the company’s first year of its applied learning program at the College. 

The applied learning initiative was launched last fall as part of a strategic alliance ELC announced in partnership with FSC, which is located in New York near ELC’s Melville campus on Long Island. Furthering ELC’s commitment to scientific excellence and supporting emerging STEM talent, the program’s goal has been to help prepare students in FSC’s science and engineering programs for potential R&D roles at ELC. Throughout FSC’s spring semester, 6 students have gained hands-on experience in ELC’s microbiology, business continuity, and special analytical services (SAS) labs by actively participating in projects.

"Applied learning is an important part of Farmingdale’s mission.  We work hard to establish opportunities for students to engage in real world experiences that help to put theory into practice. The valuable partnership that we are building with The Estée Lauder Companies supports our academic focus centered on student success and links industry innovation with academia,” said Dr. Laura Joseph, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, FSC.

“We are very proud of the incredible partnership we have built with Farmingdale State College and our collaborative efforts to support emerging STEM talent across Long Island and New York State. I truly believe in connectivity across industry and academia, and our applied learning program is a great example of the powerful impact we can have together,” said Lisa Napolione, Senior Vice President, Global R&D. “We are excited to continue our commitment to providing students with hands-on experimental learning, while focusing on the intersection of R&D and sustainability, a topic that is top-of-mind for our emerging talent, as well as our consumers and, particularly, younger generations of consumers.”

Most recently, ELC hosted a “Green Chemistry in the Lab” event for students in the program, as well as select faculty and staff, in honor of the company’s 2023 Earth Day celebrations, which focused on education around ELC’s green chemistry efforts. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the company’s unique green chemistry methodology and how ELC’s prestige beauty products are formulated with sustainability in mind. Following a presentation on ELC’s quantitative green chemistry tool, attendees received an inside look at one of ELC’s formulation labs to learn more about how the company’s scientists consider sustainability when selecting raw materials, developing formulas, and testing those formulas for stability, quality, and safety. 

As part of the collaboration, ELC has also leased approximately 52,000 sq. ft. of laboratory and office space at Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, located on the FSC campus and 2 miles away from ELC’s skin care, makeup, body, fragrance, basic science, and advanced technologies R&D labs in Melville, New York. As a result, the company continues to grow its best-in-class R&D capabilities on Long Island and across New York State, while also engaging a number of FSC students in the company’s clinical research program. ELC will continue to identify growth opportunities to engage more students in ELC’s broader philanthropic and educational initiatives. 

For decades, ELC’s talented R&D teams have created breakthrough products and experiences that push boundaries and defy stereotypes with a focus on sustainability and inclusivity, and with 75 years of formulation authority, the company is also deeply integrated into the scientific community, regularly presenting at leading events and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. ELC has a commitment to advancing women in STEM; within our own operations, all of our R&D and innovation laboratories worldwide are led by women, and more than half of our scientists, engineers, and technical professionals are women. At ELC, we recognize the importance of raising STEM awareness and enhancing STEM education around the world, and we look forward to bringing the next generation of exceptional STEM talent on our journey to continue inventing the future of beauty.