$120,000 Awarded To Science Departments

Original: February 8, 2011 Issue 10

By: Klara Cachau-Hansgardh

Staff Writer

With a new delegation of $120,000 in scholarships for Montgomery College’s Engineering and Computer Science departments, the Bethesda Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) continues a practice of philanthropy towards MC.

Between 2011 and 2014, $30,000 will be divided annually between the departments and will be awarded on the basis of a student’s financial need.

“Our students are talented,” remarked Dr. Andy Yao, MC’s Computer Science and Information & Interactive Technologies Department Chair. Yao expressed his gratitude for the funds his students have been offered.

Nevertheless, Yao divulged the struggle it can be to acquire that type of attention for his department. “We always have to take the first step,” said Yao, though he insists it has not been for lack of skill or ambition.

MC’s engineering program is the largest of any community college nationwide and has the greatest number of students with an intent to transfer to a 4 year institution.

MC’s Physics, Engineering, and Geosciences Department Chair, Dr. Muhammad Kehnemouyi, has a history of accumulating scholarships and grants for his department.

Kehnemouyi revealed that with an average of 120 students transferring every year the department has built a relationship with a number of acclaimed universities including Georgia Tech, ranked number four for engineering in the nation.

Preparedness upon admission is not a problem, claimed Kehnemouyi, “[Georgia Tech’s] provost has told me ‘You do the work for us.’”

Kehnemouyi asserts that the kind of support AFCEA provides is integral to continuing this tradition.

Dr. Uche Abanulo, a faculty advisor in the Engineering Department at MC, maintained that these need-based scholarships are essential for students studying such challenging fields. Furthermore, Abanulo stated the importance of these students as a functioning part of MC’s intellectual environment noting contributions that include heavily attended seminars, many which are open for the public.

In keeping with Dr. Abanulo, Spring 2010 AFCEA scholarship recipient Daniel Moya expressed gratitude for the award he obtained and the financial burden it helped to alleviate. Moya, a mechanical engineering major, will be attending the University of Maryland at College Park’s A. James Clark School of Engineering in the fall.

Daphne Zweifel, President-elect of AFCEA’s Bethesda Chapter, attributes much of the establishment’s philanthropic efforts in their domain to current chapter president, Steve Krauss.

According to Zweifel, the Bethesda Chapter of AFCEA has taken a holistic approach with regard to aiding DC metropolitan area schools and communities. Besides providing monetary support, the non-profit organization arranges special events in addition to hosting a monthly breakfast series featuring topical discussion.

Zweifel, a resident of Montgomery County, will begin her term as president this June, and has said she looks forward to following Krauss’ legacy while employing her own initiatives for local involvement.