By Alivia Nuzzo and Melissa Gerber
Russ College of Engineering and Technology students Carlos Espinoza and Nichole Blackmore have received national awards for demonstrating potential as future contributors to their fields.
Espinoza, a sophomore computer science student and Worthington, Ohio, native, was awarded a nationally competitive Microsoft scholarship worth $4,500. He said he worked for months to write a strong application.
"I feel grateful to have received this scholarship and am very excited because it practically covers half my tuition," he said.
The annual merit-based undergraduate scholarship from the software giant requires enrollment in a full-time, computer-science-related bachelor's degree program and a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
"My career goals aren't set yet, but I'm considering working with GPS and mobile technology, like MP3 players and operating systems," Espinoza said.
While all qualifying candidates were considered, Microsoft awards a majority of student scholarships to women, members of underrepresented populations and disabled individuals.
Blackmore, a third-year mechanical engineering student from Parma, Ohio, was one of 145 students nationwide awarded a GEICO-sponsored Tau Beta Pi scholarship worth $2,000. The competition attracted some 600 applicants.
The scholarship, sponsored by the nation's second-oldest honor society, is awarded based on academic achievement, campus leadership, service and promise of future contributions to the engineering professions.
Blackmore gained career experience through a cooperative education assignment with Northrop Grumman Corp. in Woodland Hills, Calif., during summer and fall 2007. Blackmore, who will return there this summer, analyzed flight data, citing errors, creating data plots and assisting with the development of business proposals.
She has been named to the Ohio University Dean's List every quarter and also is the recipient of a presidential scholarship and the C. Paul and Beth K. Stocker Scholarship.
"Recently, I was selected to be an Engineering Ambassador for next year. I'm looking forward to being even more involved," Blackmore said, referring to the Russ College's student leadership group that hosts prospective students and other visitors.
Blackmore also will be a scholar in the Russ College's select Robe Leadership Institute next year. The group's adviser, Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Bayless, says she is one of her program's best students.
"She is very bright, she communicates well and she really seems like she enjoys learning," he said. "Her co-op report from Northrop Grumman is something I wish I could have framed to show other co-op students. It's clear she is going to be an excellent engineer," he added.
Blackburn is active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Phi Sigma Phi honor fraternity, Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society and the Society of Women Engineers. She also serves as vice president of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and as secretary of Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering honor society.