2021-08-30: 2021 BHE Foundation CARES Scholarships Awarded to Dridi, Cannon, Stewart, D’Auria, and Loyot

“BHE Foundation CARES Scholarships Awarded”

Scholarships Awarded for LGBTQ Undergraduate Students in Engineering


Out To Innovate Announces BHE Foundation CARES Scholarships

Out to Innovate is proud to announce the winners for the 2021 BHE Foundation CARES $5000 Scholarships:
Aziz Dridi, Jada Cannon, Alexander Stewart, Margaret D’Auria, and Alexandra Loyot.

Aziz Dridi

photo of Aziz Dridi
Aziz Dridi, recipient of a 2021 BHE Foundation CARES Scholarship
Aziz is a PhD student in Engineering Education at Purdue University where he creates tools to address the longstanding issue of women’s underrepresentation in engineering by leveraging the affordances of virtual reality and cross-cultural storytelling. His research and academic accolades are matched by his diplomacy and advocacy as an LGBTQ+ activist in Tunisia and the US. “It’s a true honor to be the recipient of the Out To Innovate Graduate Student Scholarship for this year. I am humbled to see my work and activism in my home country Tunisia but also in the US being recognized by my peers. Out To Innovate is a testament to our community’s talent and courage but also a reminder that we, as a community, have come a long way in our fight for equality and visibility. Nevertheless, we must not forget that there are still 69 countries around the world where love is illegal and that being Out To Innovate is a privilege that shall be wielded to send ripples of hope to our people there.”

Jada Cannon

photo of Jada Cannon
Jada Cannon, recipient of a 2021 BHE Foundation CARES Scholarship
Jada is an incoming Architecture graduate student at Cornell University. Her interest in architecture was initially sparked as a way to combine art and geometry but has evolved along with her interests into a way to uphold values and needs in the built form. “I have always strived to focus my efforts on designing projects that prioritize inclusion and safety for underrepresented groups throughout my time studying architecture. As an LGBTQ+ student and a woman of color, I know firsthand how spaces can feel exclusionary, especially in technical fields. My background has bolstered my commitment to a career that enhances diversity in the field of architecture and building technology. I plan to continually reinforce the efforts to make sure the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups feel seen in architectural design. Receiving this scholarship not only reduces the financial burden of my graduate-level education but enables me to focus more fully on researching further avenues to bring equity into the built environment. I feel honored to join the Out To Innovate family as a scholarship recipient!“

Alexander Stewart

photo of Alex Stewart
Alex Stewart, recipient of a 2021 BHE Foundation CARES Scholarship
Alex is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where they are a double major in Physics and Mathematics. Active in the LGBTQ+ community, Alex is the Director of Hacker Experience for the first queer-focused hackathon on the UNC campus. They also created and presented LGBTQ+ inclusive training for the UNC Physics department. “Thank you all for your support! This scholarship will carry me through to finish my senior year of my undergraduate career, and will allow me to save up to be financially stable as I enter graduate school. I will use this support to better my abilities as a physicist, and show that out LGBTQ+ people can thrive in academia!”

Margaret D’Auria

photo of Margaret D'Auria
Margaret D’Auria, recipient of a 2021 BHE Foundation CARES Scholarship
Margaret is an incoming graduate student at the University of California – Berkeley in the Energy, Civil Infrastructure, and Climate program within the Civil Engineering Department. Inspired to make life better for all, Margaret hopes to design sustainable urban infrastructure. “I am so grateful for this scholarship! Being an LGBTQ+ STEM student is something I am very proud of, and it is an honor to be recognized. This scholarship will help me as I begin my master’s degree studies at the University of California, Berkeley in their Energy, Civil Infrastructure, and Climate program. I hope to be a voice for those most impacted by climate change and an advocate for sustainable infrastructure.”

Alexandra Loyot

photo of Alexandra Loyot
Alexandra Loyot, recipient of a 2021 BHE Foundation CARES Scholarship
Alexandra is a Multidisciplinary Engineering major at Purdue University. Drawn to engineering for its applications in solving problems, she hopes to address interdisciplinary problems such as climate change and food sustainability. At 17 years old, Alex was the youngest college-level intern to work at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “I am so grateful to be a recipient of this scholarship to help further my education in engineering at Purdue University. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without help from my incredible mentors. My goal is to be a role model for other young queer women in STEM and to show young queer people that there will always be a place in STEM environments for them. I look forward to continuing to be a voice for my community and to proudly represent my queer identity throughout my career in engineering.”

About BHE Foundation
“The BHE Foundation is proud to sponsor Out to Innovate scholarships for STEM students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. Berkshire Hathaway Energy is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that enriches the lives of our employees and enhances the communities where we live and work. Supporting the advancement of people of diverse backgrounds is critical to our industry, as well as Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s vision to be the best energy company in serving our customers, while delivering sustainable energy solutions.”
–Darla Zink, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director, Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

About Out To Innovate
Out To Innovate (formerly NOGLSTP) was established in 1980, incorporated in the state of California in 1991, and was granted IRS 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status in 1992. Out To Innovate is a professional society that educates and advocates for LGBTQ people in STEM. Out To Innovate presents educational symposia and workshops nationwide and fosters dialog with other professional societies, academia, and industry to facilitate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Out To Innovate is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association, a member of the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute Presidential Advisory Project’s Coalition, a partner with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, a partner of the Society for Women Engineers, and a founding member of the DiscoverE Diversity Council. For more information, visit the website at www.noglstp.org or contact scholarships@noglstp.org.