Rachel and Ryan receive AVIXA scholarships
Two students have received support from the AVIXA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association.
The 2019 Michael Vergauwen Scholarships have been awarded to Rachel Brown, an interior design major at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and Ryan DeMello, a construction engineering major at Oregon State University.
They will each receive a $5,000 scholarship, in honour of the late Michael Vergauwen’s contributions to the AV industry. Michael was chief operating officer of AVI Systems and a long-time board member of AVIXA.
Rachel is studying full time and also interns at Collage Architects, a company specialising in residential and mixed-use projects, where she is responsible for creating visual packages and participating in client meetings.
She says: “As I pursue a degree in interior design, I see myself often looking to AV systems to make the interior environments I create more accessible and user-friendly. AV systems can help people feel a connection to the space they are in.”
Ryan was still in high school when he started working as a support technician in Oregon State’s Academic Technology Department, helping students and professors to use campus technology. He has also assisted in providing AV services for a local event production company.
Ryan says his major had given him extensive knowledge about the pre-consideration, design, estimating and construction of various ranges of structures and buildings.
“My goal is to use my knowledge to improve communication and the execution of AV integration into modern buildings and classrooms,” he says.
Commenting on the scholarships, Joseph Valerio, program director of the AVIXA Foundation, says both recipients had displayed a passion for the industry in their academic and extracurricular choices.
“They also showed impressive commitment to creating integrated experiences in their future career plans. They join a growing number of emerging professionals who identify with AV in new ways,” he says.
The Michael Vergauwen Scholarship is designed to support those venturing into AV careers and increase awareness of the industry as a viable career, while also developing programs that provide skills training and work experience for those keen to take on the creative challenges of working in AV.