Three University of Arkansas at Little Rock students have been selected as nationwide winners of Acxiom’s Diversity Scholarship Program.
The UA Little Rock student winners include Adeola Adesoba, a graduate student in information science from Nigeria, Grace Crossette-Thambiah, a doctoral student in computer and information science specializing in data quality from Los Angeles, and Gabrielle Wilber, a junior business information systems major from Little Rock.
The Acxiom initiative offers $5,000 scholarships to U.S.-based students from diverse backgrounds who are enrolled in a full-time post-secondary technology degree program. The program encourages women, veterans, minorities and individuals with a disability to apply for scholarships to support the next generation of technology talent.
“We congratulate our scholarship recipients on this exciting accomplishment,” said Acxiom CEO Chad Engelgau. “This scholarship program represents Acxiom’s continued commitment to helping the next generation of leaders pursue their dreams through computer science and information technology careers. Our goal is to help foster a more diverse pool of qualified talent, and we look forward to the innovative contributions these students will make to our industry.”
One of the UA Little Rock winners, Wilber, plans to work in the computer science industry after she graduates in the fall 2020 semester.
“I am incredibly grateful for being awarded a scholarship from Acxiom, an industry-leading company in the tech field,” Wilber said. “Being awarded this scholarship will only further motivate me towards achieving my goals in my future business/computer science career.”
After earning her master’s degree in December, Adesoba plans to work as a data scientist and machine learning engineer as well as earn a Ph.D. to contribute to research efforts in technology.
“Winning Acxiom’s Diversity Scholarship depicts how far I have come on my quest in information technology including a recognition of my career and academic plans,” Adesoba said. “I would like to thank Acxiom for recognizing me as a next-generation leader that could make an impact in tech and my program advisor, Dr. John Talburt, for his constant support. I hope anyone will read my story and be inspired to work hard and believe in themselves.”
Crossette-Thambiah said that winning the scholarship will further her educational goals as well as provide her with a scholarship where she will learn more about data quality management.
“My ambition is to bridge the gap among women of color in academia and technology,” Crossette-Thambiah said. “I recognize the value that targeted data represents in identifying needs and opportunities to help vulnerable populations. As the world embarks upon the fourth industrial revolution of data analytics, there are prospects to promote preventative care through analytics and resolve societal issues. In the future, I hope to utilize my skill set to improve the lives of indigent communities through informed data. I firmly believe in making the world a better place is imperative to the success and advancement of humanity. Big or small, every little step helps.
In the ninth year of Acxiom’s Diversity Scholarship Program, it has expanded to provide better future opportunities for the winners. In addition to being awarded a scholarship, willing recipients were offered internships at Acxiom this summer. Diversity scholarship recipients are selected based on their ability to demonstrate a combination of academic achievement, field of study, and professional interest as it relates to Acxiom’s business needs.
“Acxiom believes that diversity sparks innovation and that an inclusive workplace environment encourages everyone to share their unique perspectives and skills,” said Mary Ward, chief people officer at Acxiom. “We are extremely proud to continue the tradition of this important program.”