Mark Costa has an eye for talent and understands its importance to innovation and technological advancement. Costa, the board chair and CEO of Eastman, said the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative, or FOSSI, is critical to widening the pipeline for top talent and increasing the inclusion and diversity that is vital for innovation.

Created in 2020, FOSSI provides scholarships to students pursuing STEM degrees at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“FOSSI’s role in clearing pathways to ensure the workforce of the future includes STEM talent from underrepresented groups is vital to delivering technological advancements in the chemical and materials sector,” said Costa, who serves as vice chair of FOSSI.

Eastman is committed to inclusion and diversity in its workforce. The support of FOSSI by the company and by the Eastman Foundation, as well as Costa’s leadership role, are prime examples.

The Eastman Foundation's financial support of FOSSI and HBCUs is rooted in the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree.

FOSSI was created in response to a recognized lack of diversity in the chemical industry. Established in 2020 by the HBCU Week Foundation, the American Chemistry Council and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, FOSSI provides $40,000 scholarships to students pursuing preferred STEM degrees at HBCUs. The program also offers leadership development, mentorship and internship opportunities.

Costa is serving a two-year term as vice chair of FOSSI and will become chair in 2025. The Eastman leader sees long-term societal value of the program as it supports future engineers, teachers and scientists who will be key to solving pressing global challenges.

“I’m honored to have been elected as vice chair in service with other leaders as we continue the mission of expanding the diverse STEM talent pipeline to grow and strengthen innovation capabilities,” Costa said.

To learn more about FOSSI and applying for scholarships, visit