DETROIT — Eleven technology-oriented women received scholarships at a Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation event on June 20 in Birmingham. The women are pursuing degrees that will prepare them for future careers in areas such as cyber security, machine learning, software engineering and bioinformatics.
Over the past 12 years, the nonprofit has awarded nearly $1,033,000 to fuel the educational pursuits of 135 of the state’s future technology talent. A strong network of partner companies who support a diverse IT industry in Michigan makes the program possible.
“If I can put aside financial concerns, I intend to focus on volunteering in student outreach programs to enable other girls in Michigan to take more interest in technology-related fields,” said Shazeen Biviji, who plans to study computer engineering at the University of Michigan. “By partaking in more MCWT activities, I can hone my skills as an engineer, make lasting connections with others, and encourage younger girls to develop an interest in coding.”
MCWT’s 2017 scholarship recipients include:
- Friends of MCWT Foundation Scholarship: Allison Hurley and Ashley Risinger
- MCWT Lifetime Achievement Scholarship: Saika Islam
- MCWT Scholarship: Nouralhouda Baalwi, Eleanor Epskamp-Hunt, Renee Paniccia, Ayah Awadallah, Shazeen Biviji, Khansa Alhaidi and Dejamaree Davis
Breanna Howey, Alhaidi, Awadallah, and Davis received laptop scholarships.
“Computer science is a crucial building block of today’s world of technology,” said Islam, a future University of Michigan student who realized she wanted to study coding and computer science during the MCWT-sponsored Girls are IT! program. “I’m amazed by how a few simple lines of code can lead to the creation of some of the world’s most powerful machines. I want to be a part of this extraordinary process. I want to change the world through my keystrokes, as well.”
Scholarship donors this year included MCWT partners Continental, Consumers Energy, Credit Acceptance, Dell, Oracle and NiTS Solutions.
“Surpassing the $1 million mark in scholarships is a big milestone for MCWT,” said Carey Pachla, president of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation. “It’s an example of our mission in action – inspiring and growing women in technology – and the power of bringing together businesses and academic leaders to promote the pursuit of meaningful and rewarding technology careers. Diversity in IT will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy.”
MCWT’s efforts to inspire and grow women in technology in Michigan are fueled in part by 90 partners who provide scholarships, event support and Foundation programming throughout the year. Diamond elite, diamond, emerald, platinum, gold and bronze partners include: Ford Motor Co., General Motors, FCA US LLC, Ally, AT&T, Cisco, Dow, Epitec Inc., Fujitsu, IBM, STG, Accenture, Credit Acceptance, Consumers Energy, Covisint, Executive Search Partners, Fast Switch Ltd., Intel, NetApp, NiTS, Nutanix, TD Ameritrade, VMWare, Blue Care Network, Deloitte, Delphi, Dynatrace, KLA Laboratories, Lawrence Technological University, Meijer, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Oracle, Quicken Loans, University of Detroit-Mercy, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Vertiv, Wayne Country Community College District, Wayne State University, Access, Acro, Amway, AppDynamics, CA, Chrysalis, Comerica, Commercial Progression, Dell, EMC, GTB, Harman, HP, HMG Strategy, Information Builders, Meta7, Microsoft, New Horizons, Okta, Ost, Plante Moran, Pega Systems, Ricoh, RSA, Secure 24, SIM, TEKsystems, Whirlpool, AMI Strategies, Career Builder, Cherwell, Cognizant, Continental, Davenport University, Gordon Food Service, Grand Circus, Henry Ford Health System, JDM, Lightower Fiber Networks, Netlink, OnStar, OpTech, Randstad, Red Level, Saginaw Valley State University, Softura, Spectrum Health, Thirdware, V2Soft, We Build Character, Web Savvy Marketing, and ZF TRW.
MCWT supporters also contribute to scholarships through Friends of MCWT.
The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation strives to inspire and grow women in technology fields, aspiring to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with programming, scholarships, networking, learning, mentoring, and technology experiences. Find more information at www.mcwt.org and connect via LinkedIn and Facebook.