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ASU, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council announce first engineering scholarship recipient

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council are offering a new scholarship designed to advance girls' interest in engineering and technology. Collaborations between the Fulton Schools and GSACPC are building a pipeline to opportunities in STEM by introducing girls to engineering and technology. Above: Photographer: Erika Gronek/ASU

Through an agreement managed by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, the ASU Foundation and Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) are pleased to announce ASU student Sara Curry as the recipient of the first ASU Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Scholarship. In this collaborative effort, the Fulton Schools of Engineering and GSACPC are increasing girls’ access to science, technology, engineering and math education and building the pipeline for women in STEM careers. 

portrait of Sara Curry

Sara Curry

“I was introduced to engineering through various Girl Scout events geared towards educating girls about STEM,” says Curry. “I also gained a love for nature during my time at Girl Scout summer camp. These are the reasons I chose to major in environmental engineering, which I was thrilled to see among Fulton’s list of engineering majors. Earning the ASU Girl Scouts scholarship enables me to better focus on my studies and pursue my passion for engineering.”   

Opportunities like those Curry received throughout her 13 years as a Girl Scout helped inspire the Fulton Schools and Girl Scouts to join forces to introduce girls to career opportunities and educational experiences in engineering and technology. According to the American Society for Engineering Education, women earn only 21.9% of engineering bachelor’s degrees. The Fulton Schools and GSACPC are working together on a number of initiatives to increase girls’ interest and confidence in higher education, particularly in STEM fields. 

“The scholarship is designed to help close the unmet financial need and offer support to help the student concentrate on being a student,” says Tirupalavanam Ganesh, Tooker Professor and the assistant dean of engineering education in the Fulton Schools of Engineering. “The partnership with Girl Scouts gives girls’ opportunities to explore engineering through earning program badges, understand how engineering is socially and personally relevant, and be mathematics ready by taking MAT 117: College Algebra when in high school so students can succeed in engineering coursework. These are essential to support students’ entry and persistence in engineering.”

Curry says the scholarship will allow her to focus on her studies and take advantage of all that ASU has to offer. Outside of the classroom, she is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the engineering sorority Phi Sigma Rho, the Society of Water and Environmental Leaders, the Fulton Student Council and the Residence Hall Association.

The ASU Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Scholarship will provide Curry with financial support for tuition and fees and is renewable for up to four years. Next year, two additional Girl Scouts will be selected to receive the scholarship. ASU and GSACPC will seek to directly impact Girl Scouts from low-income, underserved and underrepresented communities.

To be eligible, applicants must be Arizona residents, demonstrate financial need, have a high school GPA of at least 3.5, and be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering at Arizona State University. Candidates must have participated in the Girl Scouts/ASU math proof of concept program or have achieved the Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious honor that can be earned by a Girl Scout.

Curry was recently recognized for excellence, leadership and making a difference in the community with the Gold Award. 

“I have been a Girl Scout for as long as I can remember — from starting out as a Daisy to earning the Gold Award — and it has shaped me into the woman I am today,” says Curry. “Through scouting, I grew as a leader and acquired the persistence and confidence necessary to enter the STEM field.” 

The Fulton Schools of Engineering and Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council are announcing the scholarship winner on June 23, International Women in Engineering Day. The day is recognized worldwide to celebrate women in engineering and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

About The Author

Lanelle Strawder

Lanelle Strawder is the content and public relations manager for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Before joining the Fulton Schools in 2018, Lanelle worked in communications and public affairs for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Lanelle holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from the University of Georgia. Media Contact: lanelle.strawder@asu.edu | (480) 727-5618 | Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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