New scholars program open to UConn Engineering students

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On Monday, Nov. 1, the Pratt & Whitney Scholars Program application opened up to first-year University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering students. By January of 2022, the program will award five students with $10,000 each per year, for a total of four years, according to Daniel Burkey, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Outreach & Diversity at the School of Engineering. 

Pratt & Whitney, an aerospace company headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, is one of the largest employers of UConn Engineering graduates, according to Burkey.  

“There’s been strong ties between the company and the school for many, many years, and so it’s an example of a continuing partnership between one of Connecticut’s largest employers and our largest public university,” Burkey said in a virtual interview.  

The scholarship program will continue to select five freshman students per year until 2024, awarding a total of 20 students.  

“This is a $10,000 per-year scholarship which will be given to five students per year for a cohort of 20,” Burkey said. “$10,000 is a very significant scholarship for a School of Engineering scholarship. It’s larger than almost any of the other ones that we give, and most of those would only be given to an individual student.”  

Along with the $10,000 per year, scholarship recipients will also be provided an opportunity for a summer internship at Pratt & Whitney, a senior design project sponsored by the company and professional development and mentorship opportunities.  

As part of the School of Engineering’s newly launched Vergano Institute for Inclusion, the Pratt & Whitney Scholars Program aims to “increase diversity of traditionally marginalized or traditionally underrepresented students in engineering,” according to Burkey.  

UConn Engineering students can access the application online via the application portal from now until the end of the month. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee over winter break, with scholars announced in early January.  

According to Burkey, the application is set up similarly to applications for other scholarship programs.  

“Students will fill out some demographic information, information about their academics, information about their interests, their extracurricular activities—all of the sort of things that normally get incorporated or evaluated for a scholarship application,” Burkey added.  

As long as the selected first-year students maintain good academic standing and meet all the criteria for the scholarship, they will continue to receive $10,000 for each of their four years at UConn.  

“We’re very excited about the opportunities not only for financially supporting our students—because we all know that college is expensive, and so being able to financially support students is an important part of making it affordable to families to have that education—but then also just all of the other ancillary things that go along with these experiential opportunities for students through internships, through design, through mentorship,” Burkey said.  

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