NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Influenster, the female-founded product discovery app that has amassed 40 million+ product reviews written by 6 million+ members, today announced the five deserving winners of its fourth annual Influenster Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Scholarship. Designed to acknowledge and empower women in tech fields, the scholarship became so popular in 2019 – with double the applications vs. prior years – that Influenster will award two rounds of recipients in 2020, the first today and the next in the Fall Semester of 2020.
“I started a tech company in New York City a decade ago. I was one of the few – if not the only – female leaders in the room at meetings, events, and conferences, and, unfortunately, it still happens to this day. Interestingly, in the early days of computer science, it was a field dominated by women, and, today, there are so many technological products aimed at reaching female consumers. These are just a few of the many reasons we at Influenster are committed to helping reverse the underrepresentation of women in STEM,” says Elizabeth Scherle, President and Cofounder of Influenster. “We started our scholarship program to encourage more women to pursue studies, and ultimately careers, in this still male-dominated industry, rewarding them with financial support but also sharing their stories with millions of others in our community. Our ultimate goal is to inspire more females to think big, with the knowledge that others like them are doing amazing things in STEM.”
As part of the scholarship process, applicants provided written responses on what motivates them to pursue careers in STEM, what they envision as the future state for women in these industries, and what ideas they have to empower more women to get involved with STEM. The first-round 2020 winners stand out in that they are all undergraduate students, each having a particular interest in technology at the intersection of environmental safety and healthcare. With sponsorship from United Charitable Fund, each will receive a $1,000 award in support of their career aspirations to be used for tuition and/or academic expenses. See the list of our future female tech leaders below:
- Anna Maddison, University of California, Davis
Bachelor’s 2022, Environmental Toxicology
On a volunteer trip to Panama with the Girl Scouts in high school, Maddison opened her eyes to a view of environmentalism inclusive of complex factors such as industry, culture and government. She decided soon after to devote her studies to the emergent field of Environmental Toxicology with interest in further exploring the negative impact of synthetic molecules on aquatic life or the consequences of pesticides on lung and heart health.
- Aysha Zaher, Rutgers-New Brunswick University
Bachelor’s 2023, Genetics, Health & Society
After the tragic and untimely death of her three-day-old sister who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, Zaher chose to turn fear and anger into action by pursuing a major in Genetics, with an interest in further understanding the differences in healthcare systems worldwide, particularly third-world countries. She ultimately plans to pursue a dual MD/PhD with the hopes of improving access to care for all people, regardless of race, gender or creed.
- Jennifer Kisabeth, University of Kentucky
Bachelor’s 2022, Civil Engineering
After a six-year enlistment in the United States Navy, where she was tasked with the deployment of surveillance systems to track submarines, Kisabeth realized her passion for the world’s waterways extended even beyond her time served on a ship. She made the difficult decision to return to college to study Civil Engineering, with an aim to help lower health risks associated with unsanitary drinking water. She wants to use her personal lessons learned through life’s twists and turns to inspire women to dream big and pursue their passions.
- Shaina Raklyar, New York City College of Technology
Bachelor’s 2020, Biomedical Informatics
Inspired by her mother, who was a single parent working as an engineer in Kiev, Ukraine, and earning only $4 per day to support her family, Raklyar has been persistent in her pursuit of scientific studies through continued personal hardship that almost left her homeless in New York. She is an avid researcher and presenter, who is passionate about using data to help people communicate more effectively, whether they’re from different cultures or have disabilities.
- Betta Lyon-Delsordo, University of Montana
Bachelor’s 2020, Computer Science and Spanish
Growing up in a small rural community, Lyon-Delsordo had little exposure to women working in technology, but through personal interest and conviction, she taught herself to code. With an interest in addressing difficult community issues, she worked with a team to create an app geared towards suicide prevention in her state and mentored other young women in developing technical solutions geared at tackling other complex issues. She’s received two President’s Volunteer Service Awards for her efforts.
This round of scholarship applicants hailed from leading universities nationwide, including the likes of MIT, Stanford, Caltech, and Harvard. For students interested in applying to the next round, please visit: https://www.influenster.com/scholarship.
Influenster is a social shopping experience where community meets commerce. The platform has more than 40 million product reviews, growing by one million monthly, written by nearly six million members. Members come to Influenster to read and write reviews, share photos and videos, participate in product discussions, earn rewards, and connect with brands and one another.
Brands partner with Influenster to generate reviews and social content, to license existing reviews to their brand- and retail-dot-coms or feature them in sales and marketing materials to improve conversion, and to gain new consumer and product insights through in-depth review analysis.
Headquartered in New York City, Influenster was founded by Elizabeth Scherle and Aydin Acar in 2010 and was acquired by Bazaarvoice in August 2019. Bazaarvoice is the leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, with industry-leading software and a network of over 6,200 global brand and retailer websites.
|Alex Kirk, Director Marketing|