ASME Foundation Awards Scholarships to 38 Student Members
For the last 15 years, the ASME Scholarship Program has awarded graduate and undergraduate level scholarships to aspiring young engineers as they pursue their degrees. This year, 38 ASME student members will receive nearly $150,000 in scholarships through the program, which is funded by the ASME Foundation.
The scholarship committee received a record number of applications for the 2014-2015 school year. More than 600 completed applications were submitted — a 50 percent increase over the number submitted last year. This impressive spike can be attributed to a new online scholarship application tool that was added to ASME.org this year. The new tool not only simplified the process of filling out the application, it also added a new review portal that made it possible for scholarship committee members to review applications more efficiently.
ASME student member Jamie Nagode, a senior at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, was selected this year’s winner of the Kenneth Andrew Roe Scholarship. The $13,000 grant is the largest single-year scholarship ASME offers. The Roe Scholarship, which is awarded to juniors and seniors studying mechanical engineering, was established in 1991 in memory of the former ASME president and chairman of the ASME Foundation.
In the letter accepting her scholarship, Nagode conveyed her “thrill and astonishment” at learning that she had been chosen. “It is such an honor to have this type of recognition from a society of, in my opinion, the highest prestige,” she wrote. “This scholarship assures my commitment to the profession of mechanical engineering.”
Nagode, who hopes to one day work on an ASME standards committee, is an active member in her school’s student section where she works to promote awareness of the opportunities that the Society offers to undergraduate students. “I aim to encourage the undergraduates in our chapter to explore mechanical engineering and find motivation in the practice that resonates within them on a personal level,” she added.
Another student member, Alexander Blum, was named the 2014-2015 ASME Foundation Scholar. This grant, which launched last year, provides scholarships of $11,000 to undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors. The scholarships can be renewed up to three years.
Blum, who is a junior at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and chair of the university’s student section, said the scholarship would allow him to keep his academic career on track. “These funds will allow me to focus on school and my student section, maintain my academic standing, and graduate on time,” wrote Blum, who co-founded the student section at Piedmont Community College, which he attended before transferring to UNCC. “As someone who has always had to work while attending school, this has so much value to me.”
ASME student member Nanette Philip has been selected to receive the ASME Foundation Hanley Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship, which was established in 2007 by the Mary Hanley Trust, is awarded to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, with preference given to applicants demonstrating financial need.
Philip, who is originally from the island nation St. Lucia, is a senior at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. As an international student, she said her prospects for finding part-time employment to supplement her student loan were limited to on-campus jobs, which were few in number and much in demand. She saw obtaining a scholarship as the only other option for completing her undergraduate studies, she said.
“The financial assistance you have provided will aid with educational expenses and it will allow me to devote more of my time to my studies,” she wrote in her acceptance letter. “Your generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal and has further inspired me to continue to help others by giving back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goals just as you have helped me in fulfilling mine.”
Not all of this year’s scholarship winners are enrolled in traditional universities. The winner of this year’s William J. and Marijane E. Adams Jr. Scholarship, for instance, is Andrew Florek, a community college student from San Francisco. The $3,000 Adams scholarship is awarded to an ASME student member attending a college or university in California, Hawaii or Nevada, who demonstrates a special interest in product development and design.
Florek, who is currently attending the two-year City College of San Francisco, plans to transfer to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering after he finishes the current school year. Since the City College of San Francisco does not have an ASME student section, Florek attends activities held by the University of California, Berkeley student section as a way to meet and network with other ASME student members. “They have been very kind to include me even though I’m not a student there,” he said. “I will continue to go to events and participate in interesting webinars this year, but I am really looking forward to attending a university that has an ASME chapter on campus.”
Florek is also enthusiastic about serving his community, spending time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Berkeley Project community service organization, and various charitable activities organized by his school’s Alpha Gamma Sigma chapter.
These types of philanthropic activities, and in particular ASME volunteer work, are often deciding factors in selecting scholarship recipients, according to Beth Lefever, education programs administrator at ASME. She added that the scholarship committee would like to encourage more community college students like Florek to apply for ASME scholarships. The application period for the 2015-2016 scholarship year opens Dec. 1 and applications will be accepted through March 1, 2015.
To view the full list of this year’s ASME scholarship winners, visit the Scholarship Winners webpage on ASME.org .
For more information on the ASME Scholarship Program, visit www.asme.org/career-education/scholarships-and-grants/scholarship-and-loans. To learn how you can support the scholarship program with a gift to the ASME Foundation, go to www.asme.org/about-asme/get-involved/asme-foundation.