The Col. Kathleen Swacina STEM Scholarship, a testament to the remarkable career of Col. Kathleen Swacina, USA (Ret.), stands as a beacon of support for outstanding female college students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Generously funded by Col. Kathleen Swacina and Lt. Col. Daniel Swacina, USA (Ret.), this scholarship seeks to recognize and empower those who exhibit exceptional potential in the STEM fields.
Col. Kathleen Swacina: A Trailblazer in STEM and Leadership
Col. Kathleen Swacina's illustrious career within AFCEA, marked by leadership roles at both chapter and international levels, serves as an inspiration. A combat veteran with diverse roles in Field Artillery, Adjutant General positions, and Logistics, Col. Swacina shattered barriers, becoming the first female to command the Army Reserve Personnel Command Headquarters Company. Her achievements include pioneering the first MPLS cloud network in the military.
Facing challenges such as dyslexia and ADHD, Col. Swacina's journey epitomizes resilience and determination. Earning two master's degrees, multiple certifications, and making significant contributions, her story is a testament to overcoming adversity through hard work and support.
The Scholarship: Investing in Resilience and Determination
The Col. Kathleen Swacina Scholarship Fund awards a $1,500 scholarship to one exceptional female college student. This financial support is dedicated to advancing their higher-level academic education at accredited four-year institutions. Even community college students in their initial two years are eligible if they plan to continue to a four-year college or university.
Eligibility Criteria for Aspiring STEM Scholars:
1. U.S. Citizenship and Armed Forces Affiliation:
• Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
• Eligible candidates include members of the U.S. armed forces or those enrolled in an ROTC program, honorably discharged veterans, or direct descendants of AFCEA members or honorably discharged armed forces members.
2. Geographical and Educational Requirements:
• Full-time enrollment in an accredited institution within the states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama, including community colleges.
• Undergraduate students must be at the sophomore or junior level.
• Graduates should have completed at least two courses but not be graduating in the current academic year.
3. Academic Performance:
Maintain an overall GPA of 2.8.
4. STEM Major in Alignment with AFCEA's Mission:
Students must major in a STEM-related area of study, contributing to AFCEA's mission. Qualifying STEM majors include a broad spectrum, from astronomy to telecommunications engineering.
Applicants are required to submit:
1. An online application form encompassing short-answer questions, educational and career plans, and a demonstration of financial need. Challenges faced, whether personal, physical, psychological, or educational, can also be articulated.
2. An official college transcript reflecting completed courses and grades, including those from the Fall 2023 semester.
3. Two letters of recommendation, with at least one from a professor in the student's STEM major.
4. A statement outlining how the applicant meets the qualifying criteria of U.S. armed forces or AFCEA affiliation.
Applicants bear the responsibility of coordinating with recommenders and ensuring the submission of all required documents. Completed applications, along with supporting documentation, must be submitted by the annual deadline.
In essence, the Col. Kathleen Swacina STEM Scholarship is more than a financial aid program; it's an embodiment of the AFCEA community's commitment to supporting resilient and determined female STEM scholars in their pursuit of excellence. Join us in this transformative journey by applying and contributing to a legacy of empowerment.