GEA launches UofL scholarship fund supporting underrepresented communities

Oct 13th 2021

GE Appliances has extended its partnership with the University of Louisville by launching a new scholarship fund to support underrepresented communities in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

University President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi and Dr. Emmanuel Collins, Dean of the School Engineering, saw an opportunity to strengthen the pipeline of minority engineering professionals.

In a meeting with GE Appliances’ CEO Kevin Nolan, the university acknowledged the difficulties of transitioning pre-engineering students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences into Speed’s engineering programs.

Students not directly admitted into the engineering program must complete pre-requisite courses to achieve full admission in their sophomore and junior year. 

Many of those students don’t have access to tutors, mentors, or the financial support to successfully transition.

The new GEA Scholars Program will support pre-engineering students in their goal to complete a degree and launch an engineering and technical career.

The scholarship not only provides tuition assistance but will also support students with tutoring and mentoring by GEA employees and students in the GE Appliances’ Edison program.

“I had a very similar undergraduate experience. I was admitted conditionally and had to work through those pre-requisites,” said Richard McKnight, GEA senior manager of customer fulfillment. “It was my mentor and tutoring services that kept me motivated and not discouraged.”

The student selection process is underway and the first cohort of one male, and one female student will be selected later this fall. 

As part of GE Appliances’ “Blue Wave” initiative, the company is making significant investments throughout the next calendar year that help strengthen the community and advance equity and inclusion.

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