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Electrical, Computer and Software Engineers As Leaders (ECSEL) Program Awards Summer Scholarships in Response to COVID-19

Posted 7/22/2020

Program is a collaboration between DMACC and Iowa State University that works to improve diversity among students in STEM fields

  • The DMACC ECSEL program typically awards scholarships for only the fall and spring semesters only, but was expanded to include the summer 2020 term this year due to COVID-19.

  • Five DMACC students received DMACC ECSEL program scholarships for the summer 2020 term, helping them to focus on and continue their studies.

  • Program scholarship recipients are mentored by an engineering faculty member at DMACC, as well as by a pre-mentor at Iowa State University (ISU).

  • The DMACC ECSEL program is accepting scholarship applications for the fall 2020 semester now through Sept. 10.

DMACC, the largest undergraduate college in Iowa, is pleased to announce that five students were recently awarded one-time summer 2020 scholarships through the DMACC Electrical, Computer and Software Engineers as Leaders (ECSEL) program. The program is a collaboration between DMACC and Iowa State University (ISU), and part of a nearly $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help improve diversity among students throughout science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

DMACC ECSEL program scholarships are typically awarded for the fall and spring semesters only, but this year, the scholarship committee worked to expand the program to include one-time scholarships for the summer 2020 term in response to COVID-19.

“The goal of the DMACC ECSEL program is to provide support to talented students who are experiencing financial need, and to help those students overcome barriers that might keep them from focusing on or continuing their studies,” said Dr. Edris Ebrahimzadeh, a DMACC Engineering Instructor and member of the DMACC ECSEL program’s scholarship committee. “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of challenges for many students, and as a committee, we felt it was more important than ever to find a way to offer additional financial assistance to qualified students.”

The DMACC ECSEL Program includes two scholarships: The ECSEL Scholarship is designated for DMACC students who are studying pre-engineering, while the Explorer Scholarship is available to any DMACC students who are enrolled in another STEM-related program of study and interested in exploring a major in electrical, computer or software engineering. Scholarship recipients are mentored by an engineering faculty member at DMACC, as well as by a pre-mentor at Iowa State University. Pre-mentors are current ISU engineering students who previously graduated from DMACC.

Summer 2020 scholarship recipients
The five students who received one-time DMACC ECSEL and Explorer Scholarships for the summer 2020 term were:

  • Sawyer Burton of Storm Lake, Iowa; a 2015 graduate of Pella High School in Pella, Iowa; pursuing an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in computer engineering – $2,500 ECSEL Scholarship
  • Taegen Duncan of Spencer, Iowa, a 2014 graduate of Enid High School in Enid, Okla.; pursuing an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Liberal Arts with a pre-engineering concentration – $2,500 ECSEL Scholarship
  • Erin Dwenger of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a 2015 graduate of the Reynoldsburg eSTEM Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio; pursuing an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Liberal Arts – $1,250 Explorer Scholarship
  • Thaddeus Janssen of Ogden, Iowa, a 2008 graduate of Ogden High School in Ogden, Iowa; pursuing an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Liberal Arts with a pre-engineering concentration – $2,500 ECSEL Scholarship
  • Levi Smith of Severy, Kan., a 2012 graduate of West Elk High School in Howard, Kan.; pursuing an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Liberal Arts with a pre-engineering concentration – $2,500 ECSEL Scholarship

Apply for fall 2020 scholarships now

Current and incoming DMACC students are encouraged to apply for scholarships through the DMACC ECSEL Program, and applications for fall 2020 semester scholarships are being accepted now through Sept. 10 at www.dmacc.edu/ecsel.

To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, national or refugee; be enrolled in DMACC’s pre-engineering program, or in another STEM-related discipline at DMACC and have expressed interest in exploring areas of study related to electrical, computer and software engineering; have demonstrated financial need through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid; and complete an online application, including two short-essay questions.

During the fall and spring semesters, DMACC ECSEL program scholarships are eligible for renewal – up to $5,000 annually for the ECSEL Scholarship and up to $1,000 annually for the Explorer Scholarship – if students continue to meet the program requirements.      

Scott Schultz, Academic Dean of the DMACC Science, Engineering, Math and Social Science (SEMSS) Department, said DMACC is pleased to be able to award ECSEL scholarships on an ongoing basis.

“We’re proud to help DMACC students prepare for rewarding careers in the diverse field of engineering, which includes many in-demand career paths and local job opportunities,” Schultz said. “Along with DMACC’s ongoing commitment to offering affordable tuition, the ECSEL scholarships help make our students’ professional goals more financially accessible as they receive a top education.

“The mentorship aspect of the program also helps our students make a successful and prepared transition to a four-year university after graduating from DMACC.”

To learn more, visit www.dmacc.edu/ecsel.


 

For more information, contact: Dr. Edris Ebrahimzadeh, (515) 964-6489, eebrahimzadeh@dmacc.edu

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