ACT, UI Graduate College announce 2011-12 scholarship winners

Posted June 28, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa—The ACT Scholars Program, co-directed by ACT and the University of Iowa Graduate College, has selected Ikenna Obiora Anyanetu and Samantha Sanchez as scholarship winners for the 2011-12 academic year.

Anyanetu is an incoming student in the UI’s electrical and computer engineering doctoral program, while Sanchez will begin work in the university’s full-time MBA program this fall.

Recipients receive an annual nine-month stipend equivalent to a half-time research assistantship ($20,000), benefits, and a full resident-rate tuition scholarship.

“We are honored to recognize Ikenna and Samantha as scholars for this prestigious program that supports students in their academic and professional endeavors,” said John C. Keller, UI associate provost for graduate education and Graduate College dean. “These two individuals represent the intent of the program.”

ACT, founded in 1959 as the American College Testing Program by UI education leaders E.F. Lindquist and Ted McCarrel, committed $5 million to the University of Iowa Foundation in 2009 to endow the ACT Scholars Program. While pursuing graduate degrees at the UI, recipients will simultaneously obtain on-the-job training at ACT.

Photo of Ikenna Obiora Anyanetu

Ikenna Obiora Anyanetu

Anyanetu earned a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan in 2011. At the UI, he would like to work on interesting problems that are at the forefront of computer architecture, VSLI design, and software systems. He is interested in the design of integrated circuits that reduce the ever-increasing power consumption of current CMOS technology.

“My reaction to receiving the ACT Scholars Fellowship is that of excitement, gratitude, happiness, enthusiasm and appreciation,” Anyanetu said. “Being able to receive on-the-job training while doing graduate work propels the scholarship into a whole new level of importance and significance for me.”

Photo of Samantha Sanchez

Samantha Sanchez

Sanchez received a Bachelor of Arts, business administration degree from Truman State University in 2007. Prior to enrolling at the UI, Sanchez was a business sales supervisor for a telecommunications company. She led a sales team of up to 15 agents who were selling and troubleshooting Internet and phone services.

After earning her MBA, Sanchez envisions herself doing marketing research work for an organization that will help her better understand how organizations do business.

“The ACT Scholars Program made going to business school to get my MBA feasible for me,” Sanchez said. “For me, the on-the-job training is going to be essential to my future endeavors. Ultimately, I want to be involved in building sustainable communities. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in this program.”

The ACT Scholars Program serves the diversity goals of ACT and the UI. The scholars have ACT mentors, who help them gain experience in projects related to their fields of study. Mentors work closely with the students’ faculty advisors and engage other ACT staff to support their work at the UI.

Scholars spend an average of 10 to 20 hours per week throughout the academic year in both individual and group learning activities at ACT.

Some scholars may be able to use ACT data sets or specialized resources in the ACT Information Resource Center for their research. They may also be considered for summer internships or other summer employment at ACT.

ACT Scholars must be nominated by their departments in several areas of study, including business, communications, education, engineering, information technology and statistics. ACT welcomes nominations from underrepresented populations, including African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

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