(Top row) Arthur Chadwick, Bufford Brian Sta Maria, Elijah Walker, Eric Crump; (middle row) Gabriel Dickey, Kelci Pool, Kody Morrison; (bottom row) Landon Moore, Liam Carlson, Omar Amr, Tara McIntosh
(Top row) Arthur Chadwick, Bufford Brian Sta Maria, Elijah Walker, Eric Crump; (middle row) Gabriel Dickey, Kelci Pool, Kody Morrison; (bottom row) Landon Moore, Liam Carlson, Omar Amr, Tara McIntosh

Meet the 2020-21 Wright Scholars

Now in its fourth year, the Wright Engineering Access Scholarship is VCU Engineering’s flagship scholarship program. It was established in 2017 with a historic $5 million gift from longtime benefactor C. Kenneth Wright (1924-2019).

This scholarship is designed to help qualified students — especially nontraditional students — earn an engineering degree at a minimal cost, without racking up debt. The 2020-21 cohort of 49 Wright Scholars is the largest in the scholarship’s history. 

Helina Afework
Major: Biomedical engineering 
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Career Goal: To be a medical doctor.
Fun Fact: Immigrated to the United States three years ago. 

Mafaz Aldrdery
Major: Mechanical engineering 
Hometown: Springfield, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in mechanical engineering.
Fun Fact: Loves to travel. 

Omar Amr
Major: Electrical engineering
Hometown: Midlothian, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in a company that promotes personal merit, self-worth and professional growth.
Fun Fact: Loves to program in many languages and is a soccer player.
IN HIS OWN WORDSHear more from Omar

Daveon Barbee
Major: Mechanical engineering
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Career Goal: To go into structural design projects for the homeless and less fortunate.
Fun Fact: Is a die-hard Washington Football Team fan.

Abigail Katelyn Baugher
Major: Chemical engineering
Hometown: Front Royal, Virginia
Career Goal: To help the less fortunate.
Fun Fact: Is the middle child of three.

Marisa Bausone
Major: Chemical engineering
Hometown: Sandston, Virginia
Career Goal: To work with water purification or in material design/production.
Fun Fact: Loves ballroom dancing.

Anisha Beladia
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Centreville, Virginia
Career Goal: To design products and tools that would improve surgical practices.
Fun Fact: Has hypermobility in her elbows.

Keenan Brown
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Career Goal: To be a research scientist.
Fun Fact: Had a pet tarantula in high school.

Liam Carlson
Major: Mechanical and nuclear engineering 
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
Career Goal: To help establish commercial Generation IV nuclear reactors.
Fun Fact: Loves to play guitar.

Arthur Chadwick
Major: Mechanical engineering 
Hometown: Powhatan, Virginia
Career Goal: Aerospace engineering and entrepreneurship.
Fun Fact: Was 6 feet from Elon Musk in the summer of 2018.

Bao T. Chau
Major: Chemical engineering and chemistry
Hometown: Burke, Virginia
Career Goal: To earn a Ph.D. and reduce the price (and increase accessibility) of pharmaceuticals.
Fun Fact: Can turn both hands 360 degrees and holds a black belt in tae kwon do.

Eric Crump
Major: Mechanical engineering and physics
Hometown: Chester, Virginia
Career Goal: To impact the future of humanity through engineering and eventually start his own company.
Fun Fact: Would love to live on the Moon or Mars one day.

Mikayla Davis
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Hampton, Virginia
Career Goal: To become an information security analyst.
Fun Fact: Has a tabby cat.

Connor Delaney
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Career Goal: To earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience or an M.D. — or both. 
Fun Fact: Enjoys painting in his free time; “It’s nice to embrace my artistic side when I can.” 

Gabriel Dickey
Major: Chemical engineering
Hometown: Powhatan, Virginia
Career Goal:  To pursue a graduate degree and do research to find cleaner, more efficient sources of energy.
Fun Fact: Loves watching sports and has enjoyed the return of sports over the last several weeks.

Jackson Doody
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: North Chesterfield, Virginia
Career Goal: To own a firm that makes innovative medical technology accessible to all classes.
Fun Fact: Loves adventure and surfing.

Christopher Flippen
Major: Computer science and mathematics
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in math research and become a professor.
Fun Fact: Wears an identical outfit every day (an orange shirt and khaki shorts).

Tyres Glisan
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Galesburg, Illinois
Career Goal: To obtain a position of responsibility in the company I work for.
Fun Fact: Has played football his entire life until now.

Kasey Handy
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Bristow, Virginia
Career Goal: Undecided.
Fun Fact: Is left-handed.

Alina Jafri
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Strasburg, Virginia
Career Goal: To be a holistic medical professional and positively impact patients every day.  
Fun Fact: Is fluent in two languages: Urdu and English.

Trevon Lamb
Major: Computer science 
Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia 
Career Goal: To create a technology that makes life easier for people with diabetes or disabilities.
Fun Fact: Has Type 1 diabetes.

Samuel Lewis
Hometown:
Stafford, Virginia
Major: Mechanical engineering 
Career Goal: To become an aerospace engineer and gain his professional engineering certification. 
Fun Fact: Plays bass and clarinet.

Tara McIntosh 
Major: Chemical and life science engineering 
Hometown: Riebeek Kasteel, South Africa 
Career Goal: To work in process engineering for an environmentally conscious company. 
Fun Fact: Can speak Afrikaans and Italian.

Landon Moore
Major: Mechanical and nuclear engineering
Hometown: Colonial Heights, Virginia
Career Goal: Working as an engineer in the nuclear energy industry. 
Fun Fact: Plays guitar.

Kody Morrison 
Major: Electrical engineering and physics 
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia 
Career Goal: To have a career in the space industry; had an internship with Lockheed Martin Space last summer.
Fun Fact: Worked as a helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps; also used to do kitchen and bathroom tile design.

Andriy Mulyar
Majors: Computer science and mathematics
Hometown: Lviv, Ukraine
Career Goal: A research position in machine learning.
Fun Fact: Many were likely rushing to file taxes the day he was born.

Johnny Nguyen
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Henrico, Virginia
Career Goal: To be a software engineer.
Fun Fact: During the summer, likes to ride his motorcycle in the mountains.

Thara Omari
Major: Computer engineering
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Career Goal: To become a successful computer engineer and help her community. 
Fun Fact: Likes playing field hockey, even though she says she’s not good at it.

Ivan Parada
Major: Computer engineering
Hometown: Reston, Virginia
Career Goal: To be financially stable while also providing financial support to his mom.
Fun Fact: Has a golden retriever named Lola.

Evamarie Pascoe
Major: Mechanical engineering
Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia 
Career Goal: To work in the manufacturing industry or the creation of prosthetics, possibly for the military.
Fun Fact: Enjoys playing lacrosse. 

Kelci Pool
Major: Biomedical engineering 
Hometown: Danville, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in prosthetics or design and make rehabilitation products for amputees. 
Fun Fact: Enjoys reading and writing poetry and was part of the marching band color guard in high school.
IN HER OWN WORDSHear more from Kelci  

Katherine Reyes-Martinez
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Dumfries, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in the software industry on something innovative and useful to others.
Fun Fact: Enjoys journaling to process thoughts and relive memories.

Maxwell Shuell
Major: Computer engineering
Hometown: Woodbridge, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in a startup.
Fun Fact: Can solve a Rubic’s cube in less than one minute.
IN HIS OWN WORDSHear more from Max

Bufford Brian Sta Maria
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Manila, the Philippines
Career Goal: To be a software engineer who helps people reach their dreams, goals and full potential.
Fun Fact: Met his best friend on Instagram.

Jordan Thomas
Major: Mechanical engineering 
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland
Career Goal: To continue his dream of becoming an engineer.
Fun Fact: Is the grandson of an engineer.

Dwayne E. Thurston Jr.
Major: Electrical engineering
Hometown: North Chesterfield, Virginia
Career Goal: To work in automation and controls.
Fun Fact: Competed in two different VEX Robotics competitions at his specialty center high school.

Tan Timothy Tran
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Career Goal: Medicine.
Fun Fact: Loves to participate in Lunar New Year festival lion dances at VCU.

Saumya Trivedi
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Chesapeake,Virginia
Career Goal: To be a software engineer at Google.
Fun Fact: Is an undergraduate researcher in the MoWiNG Lab; speaks four languages. 

Regena Walker
Major: Computer science
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Career Goal: Software development (to create an application bigger than Facebook!)
Fun Fact: Is a seamstress and makes her own clothes.

Elijah Walker
Major: Mechanical engineering
Hometown: Dumfries, Virginia
Career Goal: To design airplanes and eventually teach the next generation about aeronautics and STEM.
Fun Fact: Loves art just as much as he loves engineering.

George Wesley
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Flint, Michigan
Career Goal: To revolutionize the prosthetic industry.
Fun Fact: From father-to-son, is the fourth George Wesley in his family line.

Parisa Zalmai
Major: Biomedical engineering
Hometown: Leesburg, Virginia
Career Goal: To become an orthodontist.
Fun Fact: Speaks Farsi as her first language.

Vanessa Appiah, Monae Frazier, Solomon Ghirmai, Lucas Quitter, Elizabeth Walters, Erick Wayman-Baxter and Hanna Woube also received Wright scholarships.

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