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  • Writer's pictureSTEAM Sports Foundation

STEAM Sports Foundation Announces Automotive Scholarships for Minority Women

General Motors Provides Funding

Atlanta, GA (August 1) – STEAM Sports Foundation has named four grant recipients for this year’s Women of Color scholarships within the automotive/motorsports ranks who specifically target innovations such as autonomous and electric vehicles. The $5,000 grants are for the 2023-2024 academic year. They were awarded to Arisa Chue (Stanford), Tanya Andres (UTI-Lisle), Taya Dinkins-Goldsmith (Oakland University), and Ashley Jones (Wayne State). Jones was also a recipient last year.

“The selections get more difficult each year,” said Executive Director Bob Dickinson. “Although the number of minority women seeking opportunities in the automotive and motorsports engineering ranks has increased, there is certainly still more work to do to close the gap. We encourage our recipients to be pioneers and role models. Until more young women see others who look like them entering and being successful in this industry, far too few with excellent talent and skills will choose this path.”

Dickinson noted that the selections are particularly important this year in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmation action.

Chue, a junior at Stanford University in Stanford, CA has received great distinction for both her work in and out of the classroom. Sporting a 4.02 GPA, she has done software engineering internships at both Google and Meta. She is a member of Stanford’s Society of Women Engineers and her high school's Women in STEM Education (WiSE). As a computer science major, her concentration is on the application of Machine Learning and NLP to simplify the human-machine interface in voice recognition for both human and self-driving vehicles.

Andres is enrolled at Universal Technical Institute’s (UTI) Lisle, IL campus where she has a 4.0 GPA. With aspirations to be a full-fledged auto technician, she knows that the transition between the internal combustion engine to electric and autonomous vehicles will bring challenges to the industry. Committed to those innovations, Andres hopes eventually not only to diagnose those vehicles but coach other technicians, especially women. A National Honor Society member in high school, she has been rewarded three consecutive Best of the Best awards at UTI.

Dinkins-Goldsmith, entering her first year at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, has already served as an engine development and validation intern at General Motors. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Education Equity Lab National Honors Society, and treasurer of the International Ambassadors Council. She was selected for the Ed Equity Lab National Honor Society, won first place in Pontiac (MI) Library Black History Month contest and was part of the group that placed first in the SMASH Michigan Summer Academy STEM Workshop Competition. As a highly decorated STEM student, she is eager to use those skills to learn more about the array of opportunities within the automotive/motorsports world.

Jones, a recipient last year as well, is a senior at Wayne State University in Detroit. She lists creating and testing innovative features, especially those pertaining to electric vehicles, among her career aspirations. The mechanical engineering major is currently in her second internship with Ford Motor Company in Product Development. She also works part time driving new production vehicles for mileage accumulation on prescribed routes and evaluating and recording observations of issues and performance of those vehicles. “These are incredible young women who are intent on making their mark in the automotive and/or motorsports industry,” said Dickinson. “But better yet, they understand the role they can play in paving the way for others like them who have not had many of these doors open or even knew that these opportunities existed for a rewarding career in the automotive or motorsports sector.”

Since 2021, STEAM Sports Foundation has dispersed seven $5,000 grants to minority women. The foundation remains dedicated to the diversity, equity and inclusion necessary to provide opportunities to those who have found such opportunities difficult because of systemic conditions within the educational process. Scholarship funding was provided by General Motors.

The foundation’s selection committee this year was chaired by board member Ashli Bobo who is Director of Corporate Communications for Nissan Motor Corporation USA. Others on the committee were Dan Passe, Global Head, Communications and Marketing, Nikola Motor Company; Joz Wang, Head of Multicultural Marketing and Corporate Branding, Genesis Motor America; and Jon Parks, Diversity Outreach and Relationship Director at Vizient, Inc. and Oakland University Lecturer.

Each of this year’s new recipients will be featured over the next several weeks via STEAM Sports Foundation’s website and social media outlets. Applications for next year’s grants open January 1, 2024.

About STEAM Sports Foundation

Recognizing workforce and economic development as integral parts of corporate growth STEAM Sports Foundation works with companies, educators and sports groups to develop initiatives around science, technology, engineering, arts and math that impact the world of sports & entertainment. The foundation’s focus is on scholarships and career summits in an effort to help create tomorrow’s vibrant workforce. Its “Women of Color” scholarship program in automotive/motorsports engineering provides diversity to a transportation industry that is ever-changing via innovation and technology with individuals who traditionally did not consider these career paths simply because they saw few who looked like them in the industry. The foundation is located in Alpharetta, GA. Bob Dickinson is founder and executive director.

For More Information

T: 770-815-0125

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