Since 2015, the We Energies Foundation has committed $200,000 to help Carroll University build a pipeline of future engineers from diverse backgrounds. In April, the foundation contributed an additional $100,000 to fund pre-engineering scholarships for the fall 2021 semester. The scholarships support underrepresented students who would not otherwise be able to afford the opportunity.
“The scholarship goes a long way to relieve economic pressure for underrepresented students, allowing them to focus on learning,” said Tate Wilson, senior lecturer in physics. “I have had several students who have to work off-campus to make ends meet, and that can have a negative impact on
Mia DiPalma is a freshman from Nashotah, Wisconsin, studying applied physics in the pre-engineering program. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in software engineering.
“When I was awarded the scholarship, it made a college education more affordable and opened up new opportunities for me,” DiPalma said. “I chose Carroll over other schools, because I knew I could receive a higher level of education at a lower cost.”
DiPalma stresses that it is especially important for women and people of color to pursue STEM-related careers in a field that is currently dominated by males.
"Diversity and inclusivity drive creativity and innovation,” DiPalma said. “Every person who stems from a different background can help bring new perspectives and ideas to the table.”
The scholarship is part of ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives on campus, to increase career opportunities, visibility and representation for women, Black and Latinx students. It also aligns with Carroll’s strategic plan to achieve academic excellence by building and fostering a more diverse and inclusive community.
“It is important to continue to diversify not just Carroll University, but STEM college graduates generally,” said Teege Mettille, Carroll’s vice president of enrollment. “It is only from a diversity of perspectives and experiences that we can collectively solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time.”
Carroll has awarded 24 scholarships through the We Energies Foundation Scholars Program to date. The future for these dynamic engineering students looks bright – and inclusive.