Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Leadership Roles, and Career Aspirations

Scholarships are investments in students. We can help students to invest in their future and reward the accomplishments of those who are hardworking and dedicated. Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt.

According to one source [1], 77% of families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to get access to more than $150 billion in financial aid. One of the financial aid opportunities is scholarships. The article also mentions that scholarships are an important resource when paying for college and that in 2018–2019, “scholarships and grants covered 31% of what families spent on college.”

IPC Student Chapters

The IPC Education Foundation aims to provide $50,000 in scholarships this year to at least 50 deserving IPC Student Chapter members. The purpose of the IPC Student Member Scholarship is to identify and encourage talented and focused IPC Student Chapter members to pursue careers in the electronics industry.

IPC Student Chapter members may apply online until September 30, 2020. Each applicant must showcase their contributions to the industry and academic accomplishments to compete for these scholarships. This scholarship has been designed not only to reduce the financial burden but also to encourage students to enhance their knowledge and skills with real-word industry-related experiences.


In 2019, the IPC Education Foundation awarded $23,000 in scholarships to IPC Student Members (Figure 1). The scholarship recipients are members at the following IPC Student Chapters: Auburn University, Colorado School of Mines, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore, University of Maryland, Binghamton University, Michigan Tech, University of Utah, Valparaiso University, University of California, San Diego, Triton College, American River College, Sacramento State University, Oregon Institute of Technology. Meet some of our past scholarship winners.

Figure 1: In February, scholarship winners attending the IPC APEX EXPO 2020 were recognized in person.

Charlene Gunter du Plessis, senior director of the IPC Education Foundation, connected with past IPC Student Member Scholarship winners to learn more about their academic and career pursuits, detailing how these individuals set themselves apart from their peers helps future scholarship applicants understand how to match and exceed those accomplishments.

These four scholarship winners share some common attributes. They continually seek opportunities to grow by taking on leadership positions. They participate fully in internships and gain necessary work experience while studying to develop professionally. They are also proactive in applying for scholarships.

The stories and experiences of Raviteja Boyana, Mohammed Abueed, Fernando Galvez, and Spencer Chang will inspire like-minded students to follow in their footsteps, so be sure to share with any students you know.

Ravetija_Boyana-272.jpgRaviteja Boyana is currently pursuing his master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a specialization in mechanical engineering and a minor in electronics packaging. He was born in Allahabad, India. He serves as the secretary of communications on the IPC Student Chapter Leadership Committee. In 2019, he received an IPC Student Member Scholarship of $1,000 and stated, “Thanks to you, I am a step closer to reaching my career goals.” The IPCEF is excited to be part of Raviteja’s academic journey, and he is doing a great job starting his career at Qorvo.

Mohammed_Abueed-272.jpgMohammed Abueed learned a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from Auburn University and is working toward his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering at Auburn while also working as a research assistant in The Center for Advanced Vehicle and Extreme Environment Electronics (CAVE3). As an IPC scholarship winner and VP of the IPC Student Chapter at Auburn University, Mohammed’s passion and inquisitiveness in exploring dynamic systems, such as electronics, how it works, and root causes for its failure drove him to join the mechanical engineering department. He joined the department to learn more about statistics, systems reliability, and to enhance his knowledge about Lean principles.

Fernando_Galvez-272.jpgFernando Galvez was born in Huancayo, Peru. He started his education in Pasadena City College and later transferred to the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, majoring in electronic system engineering technology. He is the treasurer of the IPC Student Chapter and received a $1,000 scholarship from IPC last year. Serving as a leader at the IPC Student Chapter has its benefits as it adds to your professional profile showcasing time management skills, working well in teams, taking responsibility, and the importance of respect and loyalty.

Spencer_Chang-272.jpgSpencer Chang is a 2019 IPC Student Chapter scholarship winner and is currently in his second year of pursuing an electrical engineering degree at the University of California San Diego. Spencer’s highlight of his academic experience boils down to the opportunities he had. He thinks that it does not matter what college you go to as long as you make the most of it. He explained this by saying, “As soon as I started college, I was volunteering in a lab on campus, learning PCB design. Several months later, I was designing electronics for a variety of customers.”

John_Mitchell_book_resume.jpgBook Recommendation

Dr. John Mitchell, president and CEO of IPC, wrote a book titled The Scholarship Resumé: Simplify Your Application and Access Your Share of Billion$ [2]. The book provides insight and help for high school and college students applying for scholarships throughout their academic journeys. I personally have read it, and the book is available for purchase online.

Dr. Mitchell lays out a straightforward method to focus your scholarship efforts by speeding up the application process, simplifying your submissions, and organizing your information. There are even a few humorous stories about his past.

With these personal stories and resources, students are better equipped to prepare, apply, and win scholarships. We can’t wait to read the 2020 IPC Student Member scholarship applications.


  1. Sallie Mae and Ipsos, “How American Pays for College 2019.”
  2. Dr. John W. Mitchell, “The Scholarship Resumé: Simplify Your Application and Access Your Share of Billion$,” CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, February 14, 2018.

Charlene Gunter du Plessis is the senior director of the IPC Education Foundation.



Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Leadership Roles, and Career Aspirations


Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt. Charlene Gunter du Plessis highlights some of the 2019 IPCEF scholarship winners, as well as a book on the topic written by Dr. John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO.

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Foundations of the Future: Online Resources Offer Opportunities for Professional Growth


At a time where 42 states have stay-at-home orders, and thousands of school districts are transitioning to a remote learning environment, online resources are essential. Charlene Gunter du Plessis recaps some of the ways to learn about the electronics manufacturing industry online.

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Foundations of the Future: The Substantial Growth of IPC Student Chapters


The IPC Education Foundation launched the IPC Student Chapter Program in February 2019, with the formal announcement at IPC APEX EXPO. The program aims to connect students in relevant two-year, four-year, and graduate programs to the electronics industry and IPC member companies. Aaron Birney provides an update on the substantial growth of IPC Student Chapters over the past year.

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Foundations of the Future: STEM Student Outreach Program at IPC APEX EXPO 2020


When we hold an event, there is nothing more rewarding than words like these from Diego, Mount Miguel High School: “I learned many valuable pieces of information related to engineering careers. My favorite topic to learn about was PCBs. I enjoyed participating in the hands-on activities, such as breadboarding and soldering. Overall, I had a wonderful time at the event!” Charlene Gunter du Plessis shares the success of the IPC STEM Student Outreach Program, as well as other updates from IPC APEX EXPO 2020.

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Foundations of the Future: Get More Engaged in 2020


Since the inception of the IPC Education Foundation in January 2019, the mission remains to create connections between electronics manufacturers and supply chain companies, academia and the emerging workforce. In this debut column, Charlene Gunter du Plessis describes plans for engaging in 2020, including scholarships and more, and the IPC APEX EXPO 2020 STEM Student Outreach event.

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