New TVA scholarship at TTU aims to boost number of women minorities who study, pursue careers in power engineering

Increasing the number of women and minorities who choose to study and pursue careers in areas of electric power engineering is the goal of a new scholarship endowment established by the Tennessee Valley Authority at Tennessee Technological University.

The $15,000 TVA Upperclassmen Scholarship Endowment was created to attract well qualified students to study electric power and launch careers in that field. Each year interest on the endowment's capital will fund a $1,000 award for senior-level students who have taken and are enrolled in courses in the university's power engineering sequence and who have demonstrated both academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular activities.

"We are grateful to TVA for setting up this endowment," said P.K. Rajan, chairperson of Tennessee Tech's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "The awards the endowment funds will help us attract high quality female and minority students to the power engineering program. This endowment also shows the high regard TVA places on our power engineering program.

"Several other power companies provide scholarships to our power engineering students, but TVA is the first to establish an endowment for those scholarships. We hope that this will motivate other power companies in the region to set up similar endowments."

The first recipient of the TVA Award, selected earlier this spring, is Kisha Buchanan, a Fayetteville native who graduated summa cum laude from Motlow State Community College. On May 10, Buchanan completed her studies at Tennessee Tech, graduating cum laude with a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering, and is now interviewing with corporations and making plant visits as she plans a career in power electronics, control systems or some combination of the two.

It's that mixture of academic achievement and focus on power engineering that TVA seeks to identify and reward with the Tennessee Tech scholarship endowment, Rajan said.

Students interested in learning more about the endowment should write to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, P.O. Box 5004, Cookeville, TN 38505-0001 or call 372-3397.