Need Help on Your Scholarship Application? Check out the Scholarship Outreach Initiative

POSTED BY on 04.19.2018

This article was based on a report written by Anamitra Sarma (Content Co-Lead, IEEE CS India SAC)

For all of you who are applying to the Spring Richard E. Merwin Scholarship (REM) at the end of this month, help stands at the ready.

In 2017, a group of volunteers from IEEE CS Compute created the Scholarship Outreach Initiative to educate IEEE Computer Society members about the scholarships offered by the Society, and to help students prepare their applications.

To support their fellow members in preparing to apply for the scholarships, the volunteers hosted Facebook Live sessions with previous Computer Society student scholarship and award winners, posted updates regarding scholarship deadlines, created a list of frequently asked questions, and set up an REM HelpDesk to provide individual attention to students.

Megha Ben, Initiative Lead, summed up her feelings about the program by saying, “Running the Scholarship Outreach Initiative was a memorable experience. I enjoyed bringing together the REM scholars and REM aspirants under one roof. I’m totally glad to have started such an initiative to educate student members about the student scholarships offered by the IEEE Computer Society…. I’m looking forward to extending our area of impact to sections outside India in an effort to bring up the number of the Society’s student ambassadors from these regions. Also, I’m looking forward to seeing similar initiatives aimed to enhance awareness about each one of the various other benefits associated with student membership.”

 Help is on the Way

The REM HelpDesk assisted the applicants of the Richard E. Merwin Scholarship, so they could better understand the method for preparing their applications. The students requesting help were added to a WhatsApp Group and assigned one of twelve REM Scholars, who guided the students through the application process. The initiative helped the program draw a large number of applicants for the scholarship’s September 2017 cycle.

To prepare for the applicants’ questions, the scholars drew on their own experience, studied the guidelines for the scholarship, and attended the 7 September webinar on scholarships provided by Peter Mager.

Lavanya S, who won the Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship in September 2017, explained, “The REM Helpdesk was indeed a great initiative. The response and guidance from the previous REM scholars and the volunteers were quick. They helped me along the way with the application. The amount of commitment shown by all the volunteers was truly exceptional.” 

#REMTalk and #UPETalk

As a part of the initiative’s support for applicants, the IEEE CS Compute Team organized live telecasts #REMTalk and #UPETalk.

In the first #REMTalk, Mr. Sujay Sreekumar, REM scholar—April 2016 cycle—gave the #REMTalk over Facebook Live. He spoke about his personal journey in getting the scholarship, the positive aspects of the Richard E. Merwin Scholarship and how it can add that extra edge in one’s personal CV. He also explained the application process and encouraged aspirants to submit the completed application on time.

Similarly, Yashwanth Sriripragada (UPE awardee—2016—from IEEE Hyderabad section) gave the UPE Talk on Facebook Live to spread the awareness about the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society Award among the IEEE Computer Society members and encourage them to apply for it. He explained the benefits of receiving the award and recommended the program. (The deadline for the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Award is 30 October.)

To realize the full power of the medium, both speakers opened the forum to questions, providing answers and addressing the concerns of the viewers.

What’s in store for April 2018?

This April, the Scholarship Outreach Initiative Team is active in hosting Webinars on the Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship with past scholars (the details are available at the social media handle of IEEE CS Compute).

This time, the REM HelpDesk is open to REM aspirants across the globe! The form has already seen applicants from sections across Region 10 (within and outside India: like Bangladesh, Islamabad, Lahore, Sri Lanka to name a few).

The scholarship outreach team is working on getting the Society’s scholarships to members not just in India but around the world.

The team is inviting scholarship aspirants across the globe to utilize the REM HelpDesk to know more about the Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship in detail from the people who “have been there and done that.” So far, the initiative has already attracted 19 REM Scholars on the HelpDesk this year.

The Scholarship Outreach Initiative is also inviting REM Scholars across the globe to serve on the HelpDesk (to help future technology leaders).

To reach the REM HelpDesk, fill out the form:   bit.ly/remhelpdesk18

To join the HelpDesk team, drop an email to swathinagaraj96@gmail.com (Swathi N—REM Scholar April 2017)

IEEE CS Compute is the official newsletter of IEEE CS India Student Activities Committee. It presents the prime trends and the major developments in the field of computer technology and promises to keep its wide range of readers hooked through its innovative themes. It also features interviews and events happening under different student branches across India. So far, Compute has released 5 editions each themed around topics trending in Computer Technology, such as Quantum Computing, Security in Cloud Computing, Human Computer Interaction, etc.

The team is currently working on putting together the 6th Edition of IEEE CS Compute themed on: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

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