Skip to main content

Talented UA Little Rock Students Awarded Acxiom Diversity Scholarships

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Six outstanding students from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have been selected for the 2023 Acxiom Diversity Scholarship program.

Acxiom, the customer intelligence company whose data-driven solutions create business growth by enabling better customer experiences, annually selects 10 college students from the U.S. for the program.

“Receiving the prestigious Acxiom Diversity Scholarship is an immense honor that validates my commitment to academic excellence, research, and leadership as an international student,” said Lotenna Nwana, a business information systems and analytics student selected for the program. “This underscores the work that I am doing with the COSMOS Research Center at UA Little Rock, where my research work is primarily focused on leveraging social computing techniques to drive the analysis of key challenges across the Indo-Pacific region. The scholarship is instrumental in furthering my academic pursuits, enabling me to access essential study materials, and attend pivotal professional conferences. With unwavering dedication and the support of Acxiom, I am confident in my ability to make significant contributions to the field of social computing.”

The initiative provides $5,000 scholarships to full-time college students from diverse backgrounds majoring in computer science, computer information systems, management information systems, information quality, information systems, engineering, mathematics, and statistics, or related areas of study.

This year’s Acxiom Diversity Scholarship recipients from UA Little Rock and their majors include Qudirat Akanji, business information systems and analytics; Bi Foua, computer science and business; Blessing Etete, physics; Nwana; Anulika Nwashili, bioinformatics; and Mary Mezue, business information systems and analytics.

“I am thrilled and inspired to embark on this journey as an Acxiom Diversity Scholar, leveraging the power of data to make informed decisions, create innovative products, and drive positive change in the world,” Mezue said. “This scholarship represents more than just financial support; it symbolizes Acxiom’s unwavering dedication to creating a diverse workforce that reflects our world. It is a reminder that we all have a role to play in championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The Acxiom Diversity Scholarship program, now in its 11th year, also offers summer internships to willing recipients. Scholarship winners are selected based on their ability to demonstrate academic achievement, field of study, and professional interest related to Acxiom’s business needs.

“Acxiom is committed to providing an avenue for students from all backgrounds to pursue their dreams through computer science and information technology careers,” said Mary Ward, chief people officer at Acxiom. “In our increasingly global economy, building a diverse workforce leads to better innovation, culture, and outcomes for everyone.”

With four of the Acxiom Diversity Scholarship recipients being members of UA Little Rock’s Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS) Research Center, Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Maulden-Entergy chair and distinguished professor of information science and the founding director of COSMOS, expressed pride for his students’ accomplishments.

“We are extremely grateful for Acxiom’s generous support of diversity efforts in STEM disciplines,” Dr. Agarwal said. “These efforts help nurture the next generation of technology leaders. I am extremely delighted and proud of our COSMOS students – Qudirat, Mary, Lotenna, and Anulika – who have received four out of the 10 prestigious national Acxiom DEI scholarships. Our students come from very diverse backgrounds, and Acxiom scholarships help them achieve their dreams, goals, and aspirations!”

Nwashili described how receiving the scholarship will help her complete her project researching finding a better treatment for Alzheimer’s.

“I’m currently researching on advancing an Alzheimer’s drug discovery project to implement a more patient-specific treatment approach, or precision medicine,” Nwashili said. “As a beneficiary of the Acxiom Diversity Scholarship, I’ll be able to join fellowship programs, attend workshops and conferences, and gain access to exclusive research resources that will bring me closer to fulfilling my goals.”