The value of a scholarship is more than just the ability to cover short-term tuition. A scholarship affords students the opportunity to pursue long-term goals: delivering a return on the initial investment that will benefit the student, his or her family, and the broader community for years to come. A college education is increasingly crucial. Scholarships are an ever more important way to pay for that education and the IPC Education Foundation provides scholarships and awards that support skills pathways and prepare students to start a meaningful career in the electronics manufacturing and assembly industry. Through a variety of scholarships and awards we wish to encourage, develop, and reward students and educators.
The Foundation awarded $25,000 in scholarships to IPC Student Members. The scholarship recipients are members at the following IPC Student Chapters: Auburn University; Binghamton University; Colorado School of Mines; Gwinnett Technical College; Michigan Technological University; Oregon Institute of Technology; Purdue University; Triton College; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Maryland; University of Maryland - Eastern Shore; University of New Orleans; University of Utah; and Valparaiso University. Each IPC Student Member receives $1,000 designed not only to reduce the financial burden, but also to encourage students to enhance their knowledge and skills of real-word industry-related experiences.
Charlene Gunter du Plessis, senior director of the IPC Education Foundation, connected with some of the winners to learn more about their career aspirations, academic journeys, and future plans.
Duha Ali was born in Jordan and is a PhD student at Auburn University studying toward her industrial and systems engineering degree. When asked to share the reason why she decided to become an engineer, she said, “Being an engineer is something I always dreamed of doing. However, I did not know exactly what major I wanted to pursue. When I was deciding on where to focus my studies in college, I felt that electronics is revolutionary in industries these days and since then it became my major."
Sandro Figueroa was born in Lima, Peru. He is studying toward his associate degree in mechatronics technology at Gwinnett Technical College and will simultaneously soon continue his progress toward a bachelor’s in electrical engineering technology at Kennesaw State University.
Sandro grew up aspiring to be a mechanical engineer but when given the opportunity to learn and work with electronics/electrical, he found that it was far more interesting and useful. As he progressed through his major, he realized that he could combine his lifelong mechanical interest with electrical through mechatronics. He is currently the IPC chapter president at Gwinnett Technical College, and he played a critical role in helping the program director establish the chapter before it was even official. He has been working full-time and studying in college for a year and a half now to pay for his education.
Native to New Orleans, Michael Ceraso honed his ability to translate customer needs into technical solutions as a salesman for Tesla in New York. Upon returning, he joined the University of New Orleans where he made a name for himself as a top roboticist in IEEE Region 5 Robotics Competitions. From there, he went on to design custom circuit boards and firmware for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and now advises on all things electronic through his company Ceraso Industries. For Real DFM, Michael handles all aspects of circuit board design, electronics supply chain management, assembly, testing, and firmware development. Michael studied psychology at Fordham University and electrical engineering at the University of New Orleans, which led to becoming the founding member of the IPC Student Chapter at the University of New Orleans. He chose his major because, as he put it, “Software rules the world, but using electronics to interact with the world is more fun. So, I wanted to do both software and hardware and become an engineer.”
Xin Wei was born in Jiangsu Province, China, and is working toward his PhD at Auburn University in industrial and systems engineering after graduating with his bachelor at Shanghai University in industrial engineering. He expressed that he decided to pursue this as his major because he would like to improve the efficiency of processes which indicated that industrial engineering is a good choice. He serves as the treasurer at the IPC Student Chapter at Auburn University. He has worked as product manager assistant to help improve the manufacturing process, including quality control and inspection, in Union Group, China.
The IPC Education Foundation is set to award at least $50,000 in scholarships to deserving students this year. For more information and to read the full interviews, please visit ipcef.org.
Charlene Gunter du Plessis is the senior director of the IPC Education Foundation.