March 1, 2024
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Watson College Scholars Program to support underrepresented students

New initiative to launch in fall 2021

Engineering Building, Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, Binghamton University Engineering Building, Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, Binghamton University
Engineering Building, Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, Binghamton University Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

As part of the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science’s ongoing effort to better foster diversity and inclusion in its educational programs, it will launch the Watson College Scholars Program in fall 2021.

The undergraduate program will promote the academic and professional success of its participants by providing opportunities and financial support to aid underrepresented, minoritized, female and economically disadvantaged (Pell Grant-eligible) students who are strong candidates for graduate study and a professional career in engineering or computer science.

“We want to develop future innovators and leaders who will enter graduate school and the workforce as global citizens with a depth and breadth of professional and technical skill development,” Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari says. “Solving today’s most pressing issues, such as those in healthcare, clean energy, cybersecurity and autonomous systems, will require all of us working together.”

Among the benefits to those in the program will be academic support, an annual $2,000 nontuition scholarship, internship and job placement assistance, and mentoring and networking opportunities with multinational companies.

“The Watson College Scholars Program aligns perfectly with Binghamton University’s mission to provide our students the additional resources they need to assist with their academic success,” President Harvey Stenger says. “As an engineer by training, I know how engineers and computer scientists can change the world, and Watson College will lead the effort to add more diverse voices when confronting our most challenging problems.”

Watson College Scholars must maintain continuous enrollment and a 3.0 GPA while making successful academic progress in a Watson degree program and actively participating in program activities.

“With assistance from the Watson College Scholars Program, we will be able to enroll more high-caliber students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to earn a degree,” says Donald Nieman, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “This program will make a difference in the lives of these students and also strengthen Watson College by adding diverse perspectives that are so critical to creativity and problem-solving.”

The inspiration behind their support

Lead corporate donors, as of April 2021, that are helping to launch the new Watson College Scholars Program:

“First, our partnership with Watson College has transcended many decades, and our histories and futures remain intertwined. Second, IBM remains committed to STEM and STEAM initiatives in primary and secondary educational institutions. Third, our company also has a longstanding corporate culture of respecting and appreciating diversity, equity and inclusion. … This program will create an inclusive culture and benefit the future of technology and innovation.” — Mary M. O’Malley-Trumble, MBA ’99, IBM operations leader and senior location executive in Endicott

“Supporting the future workforce has always been an important part of who The Raymond Corp. is as a corporate citizen, as well as exemplifies our culture of innovation and continuous improvement — that is shaped by our people. We are energized to be a driving force to create future innovators and leaders in industry.” — Jennifer de Souza ’94, senior director of energy solutions, procurement and leasing at The Raymond Corp.

O’Malley-Trumble and de Souza are members of Watson College’s advisory board

— My-Ly Nguyen Sperry ’00, MBA ’02