For the first time, student scholarships were presented at the Clinical Engineering Association of Illinois' third annual conference, held at the Chicago Oak Brook Marriott in Oak Brook, Ill., from August 22 through 23.
Among eight strong applicants, four finalists were selected, including Ranjani Sridhara, a third year biomedical engineering student at Duke University in Durham, N.C.; Minda Balongag and Brian Michael Bruno, fourth year biomedical engineering students at DeVry University Addison Campus in Addison, Ill.; and Heather Schwipps, a fourth year biomedical engineering student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
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"The awardees clearly showed their focus, desire and interest to not only enter into the biomedical engineering technology field, but also their desire to work in the health care environment, providing services and contributions back to the community and patients," says Al Moretti, executive trustee for the CEAI.
In 2006, when the grassroots meetings and concepts of the CEAI were first coming together, the nascent association agreed to help strengthen the clinical engineering industry by promoting education. This fostered the idea to place a "feather in the cap" of future biomedical engineers in the form of scholarships valued at $1,000 each.
"It was the goal of [the CEAI's founding group] to establish, at some point in the future, the ability to provide a financial opportunity scholarship to students pursuing further education in the biomedical engineering discipline," Moretti explains.
The CEAI Annual Scholarship Fund stipulates applicants must be currently attending or have been accepted into an accredited undergraduate biomedical engineering program. Entrants must include a 750-word essay explaining why they are entering into a biomedical engineering discipline and attend a formal interview process with the application committee before undergoing a review.
Aside from the annual student scholarship awards, other highlights from this year's event, which saw over 300 attendees and exhibitors, included a keynote presentation by Ken Maddock, vice presdient of Healthcare Technology Management, Baylor University Medical Center in Arlington, Texas, and a pre-conference golf event.
To apply for next year's scholarships, or for more information about CEAI, please visit: www.ceaiweb.org
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