REFLECTIONS FROM II-VI FOUNDATION UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS:
The roman numerals II and VI had no particular meaning to me before my undergraduate studies. Now, they represent scholarship, drive, opportunity, and hope of the future. The II-VI Foundation has played an integral role in my undergraduate efforts at the University of Pittsburgh as I pursue Mechanical Engineering. Over the past few years, the Foundation has given me so much more than a scholarship. The continuous support and belief in my potential encourages me to become the best engineer that I can be. My internships at Optotherm and Bayer have provided real-world experiences in the design and development stages of the semiconductor test equipment and medical device industries, which have proven invaluable to my studies. The scholarship’s requirements motivate me to make the most of each class, leading to some great discussions with my peers and professors. The Foundation’s contributions enabled me to focus on other aspects of undergraduate life: obtaining a double minor in Bioengineering and Religious Studies; serving as Vice President of BeTheMatch, the national bone marrow registry service organization; volunteering with the Society of Women Engineers; and participating in art club and intramural sports. I am honored to be recognized by such a generous organization dedicated to the future generations of engineers. I am especially grateful to Dr. Eric Kofmehl, Rick Purnell, and Susan Zuk for their support and encouragement throughout my undergraduate studies. I will certainly miss the scholarship’s annual interview because it was during these that I realized how far I had come over the past year, with much help from the II-VI Foundation. Thank you to Dr. Carl Johnson and the II-VI Foundation for granting me such a prestigious honor.
University of Pittsburgh, Class of 2022
The generosity shown to me by the II-VI Foundation allowed me to pursue educational and industry opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to. By not having to worry about how my education would be funded, I was able to instead focus on achieving my academic potential. Because of the II-VI Foundation's support, in my four years at Penn, I earned a bachelor's degree in Systems Engineering and a master's degree in Data Science, alongside minors in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics. Additionally, through guidance from the foundation, I interned at Kiewit Engineering and Strivr, serving in Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering roles respectively. It was through these internships where I learned that I wanted to eventually work in an industry research role, many of which require a doctoral degree.
The II-VI Foundation Scholarship has been beyond beneficial for my family and me as I have been going through my education. The II-VI Foundation Scholarship experience has introduced me to many great people, who I can tell all have the best interests of students in mind. The network alone within the Foundation has been very valuable to me.
"As I am wrapping up my degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Ohio State University, I cannot help but consider the impact that the II-VI Foundation has had on my success over the past four years. I will be graduating magna cum laude and entering my career as an engineer with a breadth of hands-on work experience through several internships and co-ops. These professional experiences have been with companies such as FedEx Ground, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Whirlpool Corporation, PepsiCo, and Rockwell Automation. I can confidently say that without the II-VI Foundation, these accomplishments would not have been possible. The assistance from the foundation has given me the opportunity to focus my time and efforts on my studies as well as gaining experience as an aspiring engineer, all while enjoying a well-rounded, involved college experience. This has ultimately allowed me to be much more confident in myself moving forward personally, professionally, and financially as a young adult, which I am so incredibly grateful for.
I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for the foundation and all it has done for me. Please know that the assistance provided me by the Foundation has not gone unnoticed and it is because of the Foundation which I have been able to work so hard in my academics and towards my dream career.