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GRRL Tech Participant Offered Full Tuition Four-Year Scholarship to Roger Williams University

Expo Concludes with Announcement of RWU Scholarship Award to Middletown High School Sophomore

BRISTOL, R.I., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of an ongoing commitment of encouraging young women to pursue careers in science and technology, Roger Williams University today announced a full-scholarship award for one participant during the 2009 GRRL Tech expo being hosted on campus.

Mersina Simanski, sophomore at Middletown High School, was presented today with a scholarship that will cover full tuition for four years of study at Roger Williams University. In addition, Ms. Simanski will also receive $1,000 annually to purchase textbooks. Ms. Simanski's scholarship application and essay was chosen as the most meritorious from over 60 reviewed by the Tech Collective GRRL Tech committee.

"In order to improve the current economic conditions, we must first invest in our future," said University President, Roy Nirschel. "Encouraging young women to pursue science and mathematics as a career course will help ensure the vitality of Rhode Island's economy and our nation as a whole."

In its fourth year at Roger Williams University, the 2009 GRRL Tech expo matched over 430 local high school girls with RWU faculty members and female professionals from Amgen, Atrion Networking Corporation, Epivax, Inc., Hasbro, IBM and other local organizations for workshops and presentations that promoted STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and careers.

"Encouraging girls to consider science and technology as a future career option will help strengthen Rhode Island's technology industry," said JoAnn Johnson, manager of youth and education programs for the Tech Collective. "Today, one in every four technology professionals is a woman. Through dynamic workshops and with the support of local industry and academic settings, such as RWU, GRRL Tech works to raise technology awareness, break down gender and other industry myths and send a message to these young girls that in the 21st century they can pursue whatever dreams they can imagine. With the help of everyone today, over 400 girls were able to hear that message."

GRRL (Girls Reaching Remarkable Levels) Tech is organized by Tech Collective, the industry association for information technology and biotechnology in Rhode Island. Roger Williams University is cosponsoring the event with Amgen, Atrion Networking Corporation, Epivax, Inc., Junior Achievement of Rhode Island and the Governor's Workforce Board of RI.

About RWU: Roger Williams University is a leading independent, coeducational liberal arts university at which students live and learn to be global citizens. With 39 academic programs and an array of co-curricular activities on its Bristol, R.I., campus, RWU is committed to its mantra of learning to bridge the world. Under the leadership of President Roy J. Nirschel, Ph.D., the University has achieved unprecedented academic and financial successes. In 2008, U.S. News & World Report named RWU the eighth-ranked baccalaureate college in the north.

About Tech Collective: Tech Collective is the technology industry association of Rhode Island. Focusing on Community Building and Workforce Development, we are driving technology growth, innovation and prosperity by uniting industry, government and education. Tech Collective builds and strengthens community by creating partnerships, offering thought-provoking forums and organizing state-wide participation in events like Forward Thinking, Bio Ed, GRRL Tech and Technology Laureate's Night. In promoting and developing a highly-skilled Rhode Island workforce, Tech Collective drives technology-based education and training programs for students in grades K-16 as well as for incumbent and transitioning workers.

SOURCE Roger Williams University
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