Five Chosen to Receive Scholarships Under Florida Tech STEM Program

Students from State, Community Colleges are Transferring to FIT 

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Five students have been selected as inaugural recipients of financial assistance under the Florida Institute of Technology Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program and will be transferring to Florida Tech from area community and state colleges to study engineering.

Courtney Maier, Liam McClung and Sarah Roghelia are transferring from Eastern Florida State College; Jake Velardo is coming from Indian River State College; and Derek Ratcliffe from Daytona State College.

Maier, Ratcliffe and Velardo will study civil engineering; McClung and Roghelia will study chemical engineering.

Each will receive $10,000 per year for two years thanks to the FITS-STEM program, which is funded by a $610,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Florida Tech partnered with Eastern Florida State College and Indian River State College on the grant project.

The students were selected for the scholarship program based on a number of factors, including grade point average, financial need, memberships in student organizations and honor societies, faculty recommendations, attendance at Florida Tech’s special campus events, such as Laser Day and Discovery Days, and community service. They were also asked to write essays highlighting career objectives and interest in STEM fields.

They will now be provided with opportunities to conduct social and professional networking with peers, engage in student club activities, carry out multi-disciplinary, sustainability-related research and design projects, and receive enhanced academic support in advanced courses.

“We are excited to have our first cohort on campus and to be able provide educational opportunities to students that they may otherwise not be able to afford,” said Ashok Pandit, principal investigator on the FITS-STEM grant and professor and head of the civil engineering department at Florida Tech’s College of Engineering. “They are all very enthusiastic students and eagerly participating in the planned activities.”

For more information on this program, visit or call 321-674-8048.


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