VICKSBURG, Miss.— Five recent high-school graduates were awarded scholarships last week from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Alumni Association.
With a motto of “pay it forward,” the ERDC Alumni Association is made up of retired employees who wish to stay connected to and continue to support ERDC through outreach and other activities.
“An important Alumni charter goal is to facilitate the identification and training of scientists and engineers through collaboration with sponsors of Science Fairs, Science Talent Searches and related activities like scholarships,” said Julie Marcy, who serves as president of the association this year. “The 2021 scholarships were funded by Alumni member donations.”
This year, a total of $4,500 scholarships were handed out by the association.
“I’m thankful that we have intelligent young folks coming up behind us to continue the tradition of making the world a safer and better place,” Col. Teresa Schlosser, ERDC commander, told the students at a ceremony on June 25. “I appreciate the academic work our students have put in so far to qualify for these scholarships.”
Benjamin Talbot, a graduate of Warren Central High School and the son of Cary and Angela Talbot was presented with $1,000.
“I’m very honored and happy that the Alumni Association was able to provide me and others with this wonderful opportunity,” said Talbot, who plans to major in mathematics at Brigham Young University.
Also winning a $1,000 scholarship was Anna Lamanilao, a graduate of St. Aloysius High School, who plans to study accounting at Mississippi State University in the fall. She is the daughter of Roberto and Evelyn Lamanilao.
“I’m so incredibly appreciative, because ERDC has made a big impact on my life,” Lamanilao said, explaining that she currently works as a student intern in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. “ERDC has already done so much for me in my academic lifetime, so I’m very grateful.”
Saatvik Agrawal, a graduate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland and the son of Rajeev Agrawal and Sandhya Mittal, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
“I’ve been to ERDC often for activities like Gains in the Education of Math and Science (GEMS) camp and that sort of thing and worked in the Information Technology Laboratory,” Agrawal said, adding that he will attend Georgia Tech in the fall and major in computer science. “I really appreciate everything ERDC has done for me.”
Scott Wallace, the son of Rob and Sheri Wallace, recently graduated from Warren Central High School and was awarded a $750 scholarship.
“ERDC is such a renowned institution, so I’m very grateful and honored,” said Wallace, who will attend Brigham Young University and study law. “I’m hopeful that I can make them proud.”
The daughter of Carlos and Nalini Latorre, Alana Latorre graduated from St. Aloysius High School and was awarded a $750 scholarship.
“I was honestly surprised, but very happy when I found out,” said Latorre, who will be studying biology/pre-medicine at Mississippi College. “It shows the hard work I put in during high school really paid off.”
“The fact that ERDC Alumni Association can help you on that path to your successful future is an honor,” Schlosser told the students. “I’m proud that we get to be a little piece of what you’re going to accomplish.”