Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship

Funded by
Calvin Rosser
Learn more about the Donor
$500
1 winner
Open
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2022
Winners Announced
May 31, 2022
Education Level
Any

From shaping our behavior, to shifting our beliefs, to redesigning our interactions, technology is rapidly changing the world. The rise of technology has created a wealth of personal and professional opportunities and the ability to leave a positive dent in the universe.

It’s critical that women be at the forefront of our tech-driven world.

Globally, women are significantly underrepresented in the tech sector. While many factors contribute to the gender imbalance in tech, it’s indisputable that having more women in tech will fuel innovation and lead to better social and business outcomes.

During my career in technology, I've benefited from having amazing female leaders who have increased my empathy, compassion, and effectiveness as a leader.

As part of our long list of scholarships for women in STEM, the Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship exists to move the tech industry in the right direction by empowering the next generation of extraordinary women leaders.

The scholarship is open to students at any educational level and field of study. The only application requirement is that students are women who intend to enter a technical or non-technical career that leverages technology to make the world a better place.

While not required, being involved in entrepreneurial endeavors and STEM fields of study will be a plus on student applications.

STEM
Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Impact
$500
1 winner
Open
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2022
Winners Announced
May 31, 2022
Education Level
Any
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

Tell us about one technology (new or old) that inspires you about the way in which technology can make the world a better place.

250–400 words

Winning Application

Morgan Strahle
Capella UniversityMarshall, VA
Unfortunately, I believe technology can be a double-edged sword. Though I agree that technological advances provide multiple benefits within our modern world and will reduce the stress of overpopulation, I believe we often fail to realize the impact these advances have on our future environment. While we create a smart grid to tackle our energy crisis, our data centers create an energy crisis. We create sensor networks, wearables, biometrics, RFID, etc., to monitor and collect data continuously. Though we can use the data to predict threats, medical illnesses, and integrity violations, our world is increasingly built on 5-star reviews, likes, comments, shares, re-tweets, and social media influencers. Therefore, we face increasing controversy over technological advances in predictive analytics regarding its usage for threat hunting versus profit. I am a doctoral student and recently had the third chapter of my dissertation approved by my mentor. In the upcoming quarter, I will be seeking IRB approval to carry out my research study. My research topic concerns predictive analytics for insider threat monitoring and user acceptance. Insider threat incidents are a real-world problem for businesses that predictive analytics can solve, and it is a problem that I am currently researching. The results of my study may help to make a difference for the body of scholarly knowledge and practitioners. With that said, I want to make a significant impact in my lifetime. In fact, my dissertation adviser often has to tell me to scale back and not go overboard. Though I understand I am trying to graduate and not burn out right now, I am compelled to make a large difference in the world! While I do greatly believe that technology makes a difference, I also see the impact of technology to drive the bottom line at the expense of privacy and security. For example, bionic legs are amazing for combat vets. However, do the benefits of creating WiFi-enabled bionic legs outweigh the risks of cyber-attacks? We live in a world where we are interconnecting devices rapidly and monitoring everyone. We create targeted advertising and content filters using predictive analytics. The problem is that we not only allow Americans to live in filter bubbles, but we are creating massive division and weakening our cybersecurity. I absolutely want to make the world a better place, and I think the question for me is "how?" I recently started a blog for multiple reasons, but one of those reasons was to educate people on real-world problems, including technology-related. As a doctoral student, I read hundreds of research articles. Often they are terribly boring. When the news gets a hold of a research article, it seems to have a completely different spin! I want to be a researcher and educator who can relate to others. Through blogging and educating, I want to challenge people to think critically and outside their filter bubble. I also want to get involved in local politics so that technology and cybersecurity education can be integrated into our school systems. By educating others on topics in cybersecurity and technology, I hope to make the world a better place.
Karen Escarcha
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA
From Alexas to self-driving cars, the future is defined by the technology we design. But who gets to build that future? Currently, 83% of tech executives are white — a blatant lack of diversity that limits innovation in a sector that heavily shapes our society. While I can't stop the rapid rate of technological advancement, I can build a career ensuring that the tools we design are inclusive of diverse perspectives, accessible to marginalized populations, and eliminating systemic barriers. That is why I see pursuing a Master's in interaction design at Carnegie Mellon University as a crucial next step in my career. Prior to CMU, I spent five years working for the nonprofit Boston PIC where I was the Design Specialist & Executive Team Manager. I gained experience in education policy, nonprofit management, and public-private stakeholder engagement. In my last project, I led the implementation of UX methodologies to develop and launch an online application. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics with a minor in French from Boston University. Throughout my academic and professional experience, I have realized that regardless of language, culture, or race, people all over the world are finding a way to connect. Exposure to diverse cultures inevitably develops a sense of openness and acceptance and the possibilities of a better future are limitless when a generation is armed with a global perspective — a philosophy I believe that more and more companies are starting to embody. Since attending CMU, I have been laying the foundation for a human-centered design practice that combines research, strategy, and technical skill. My coursework covers topics such as design thinking, interaction design, service design, and rapid prototyping. My projects include designing a mobile application to help individuals choose birth control and designing a service for adult learners. Additionally, I have been working with a professor to research and analyze the design of nontraditional learning experiences As a designer, I will operate on the basis of a growth mindset where failure is not a setback but an opportunity to learn and improve. This is evident in how I collaborate with my teammates. They have described my collaboration style as external processing (working through problems together on the whiteboard) and asking the right questions that allow us to move the project forward. Ambiguity does not scare me. In fact, it motivates me to find clarity in the madness and turn those insights into tangible design decisions. I am not afraid to have a perspective on design. My practice is informed by my experience growing up as a low-income immigrant and woman. One thing I do not think design is doing enough of is considering how emerging technologies will impact our society and culture. As companies start to rely heavily on machine learning, I wonder how employers will play a role in these societal shifts. I am exposing myself to emerging technologies and developing an interdisciplinary design practice at CMU, but I am eager for the chance to work with a company that values a highly collaborative and human-centered design process to address our largest social and economic problems. I see design as a vehicle for me to help shape the future in a way that looks, sounds, and feels more diverse and more equitable.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2022.