penaElijah Peña, Class of 2021 
Boeing Scholarship

When Elijah was growing up in south Texas, a university education was only a remote possibility for him and his twin sister. His parents are first- and second-generation immigrants who did not attend college, and although they worked hard to support their family, higher education seemed like a luxury they could not afford. When he received his scholarship offer from Washington University, Elijah was thrilled he would be the first in his family to go to college—and at his dream school.

As a double-major in Chinese and computer science at WashU, he has found the rigorous yet supportive environment he had been seeking. Elijah says he wants to become an engineer so he can work on difficult problems. “I am very interested in autonomization, including how it can enhance everyday life by eliminating inefficient processes,” he says. “I also am fascinated by artificial intelligence and its application to autonomized processes, such as self-driving cars.” After he graduates, Elijah plans to pursue a graduate degree in computer science.

Simone Raeth, Class of 2020
Guarantee Electrical Company Scholarship

As a child, Simone watched a documentary series about the Disney theme parks. Through these movies, she learned that mechanical engineers were the ones responsible for designing the parks’ attractions. Seeing the creativity involved and the positive impact of their work, she decided that she wanted to become a mechanical engineer. Simone still aspires to work in Disney’s Imagineering department one day as part of the team that designs and builds the attractions that distinguish the company’s numerous properties worldwide.

As a student in the Dual Degree Program in McKelvey Engineering, she is enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead of her. As Simone continues her studies and builds upon her background in the liberal arts and natural sciences, the California native hopes to become a well-rounded engineer capable of making great contributions to society. “I feel humbled to have received a scholarship that allows me to come to St. Louis to write this next chapter of my life,” she says. “Because of this scholarship, my dream is coming true in a way I could not have imagined.”

Russell Scharf, Class of 2022
Gaurav Garg and Komal Shah Scholarship

Even though his older brother had attended Washington University, Russell was unsure whether he would follow his brother’s lead when it came time to choose a college. When he visited campus for Scholars Weekend as a high school senior, however, he became convinced that Washington University was the school for him. Today, as a computer science major in McKelvey Engineering, Russell values the sense of community he encounters each day. “It truly seems like students work together to benefit one another, and faculty are here to help every step of the way,” he says.

Russell decided to study computer science because of the field’s versatility. He is considering careers in sectors ranging from medicine and health to business and consulting—any of which would provide ample opportunity for him to apply his knowledge of computing and programming. “The opportunities in front of me are endless,” Russell says. “The kindness of generous scholarship donors has ultimately allowed me to call Washington University my home.”

Karol Cysneiros de Carvalho
Otis, Dorothy and Bryce Sproul Family Graduate Scholarship

Upon graduating from Missouri University of Science & Technology, Karol spent two months working in a research laboratory in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (EECE) at Washington University. While there, she developed new research skills and got a taste of the friendly and interdisciplinary environment at the engineering school.

She soon entered the university as a doctoral student in the EECE graduate program. As a researcher in the laboratory of Brent Williams, the Raymond R. Tucker Distinguished InCEES Career Development Associate Professor, Karol’s research deals with aerosol science and indoor air quality. “I feel very honored to have received an EECE scholarship,” she says. “Being a part of this community is a very rewarding experience, and it would not have been possible for me to pursue an education at one of the best colleges worldwide without the generosity and support of the Sproul family.”