Scholarship empowers women in STEM

7 March 2022

Inaugural scholarships recipients Isobella Nicholls and Courtney Wilson.

Engineering student Isobella Nicholls and Computing and Mathematical Science student Courtney Wilson are the inaugural winners of the TOMRA Fresh Food Scholarship for Women in STEM.

The scholarship is awarded to one second-year student and one third-year student who identify as female and have made or show potential to make an impact on women in the STEM industries. This year’s recipients were chosen based on their outstanding academic achievements and their willingness to advance STEM subjects.

Isobella is entering her second year of a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours after completing her first year at the University of Auckland. “Engineering excited me because it combines chemistry and physics, while also allowing me to focus on the sustainability side,” she says.

After taking a year off studying in 2021, Isobella chose to complete her studies at Waikato. She says she is grateful for the scholarship as it lifts the financial weight that can come with moving cities. It also allows her extra time to focus on her studies and role as co-president of InC Waikato (Inclusion in Computing Waikato). InC Waikato is a student run club which focuses on creating a safe environment for women and minority groups within STEM subjects.

“I’m so grateful for the support of the scholarship. To me there is something so empowering that your hard work is being valued by your university and a leading tech organisation such as TOMRA.”

The second recipient, Courtney Wilson, will start her third-year of a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences with Honours this year, where she will pursue her interests in cyber security and artificial intelligence.

“I’ve always been interested in everything but I remember learning about space and astronomy in primary school and it sparked my curiosity. Everything grew from there and when the opportunity arrived to explore computer science, I knew that’s the field I wanted to get into.”

Courtney is also a recipient of Te Paewai o te Rangi Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement and hopes to go on to complete a Masters in cybersecurity.

“Without the TOMRA scholarship, I would have had to focus solely on cyber security. The scholarship gives me the opportunity to pursue a Masters and explore different career paths I might not have otherwise.”

TOMRA Fresh Food CEO Geoff Furniss is proud to be supporting the next generation of women in STEM.

“STEM subjects are at the heart of innovation and product development and we are pleased to be supporting emerging talent focused in this area, particularly encouraging more women to make their mark on the industry.

“My congratulations to Isobella and Courtney on receiving the inaugural scholarships, and I wish them well with their studies and careers.”

As recipients of the scholarship, Isobella and Courtney also have the opportunity to undertake work placement opportunities with TOMRA Fresh Food.

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