2023-24 cohort of Peter Kiewit Foundation Engineering Academy announced

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2023-24 cohort of Peter Kiewit Foundation Engineering Academy announced

A large group of Nebraska Engineering students, wearing red T-shirts, stands outside of the Wick Alumni Center.
Courtesy | Jon Humiston
Forty first-year students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Engineering have been chosen for the 2023-24 cohort of the Peter Kiewit Foundation Engineering Academy.

Forty first-year students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Engineering — including 11 based at the Scott Campus in Omaha — have been chosen for the 2023-24 cohort of the Peter Kiewit Foundation Engineering Academy at Nebraska.

More than 100 applications were received for the cohort, the academy’s second.

The academy seeks to recruit and retain students committed to supporting and advancing women in engineering in Nebraska and to provide students who have financial need with the resources and support to pursue careers in engineering, computing and construction.

Academy students receive a scholarship that covers full tuition and fees for four years and may receive funding for a fifth year on a case-by-case basis. The scholarship also covers the students’ housing and meals for up to four years in a University Housing residence. Academy students have a common living experience during their first two years in the program, enroll in cohort-specific freshman and sophomore seminars, and receive success coaching from dedicated program staff. Students also receive a $500 book stipend to the university bookstore and a laptop for their studies.

The work of the academy is grounded in The Complete Engineer, a College of Engineering initiative designed to ensure students participate in experiential learning in tandem with the technical expertise provided by a Big Ten degree. Through a cohort-based program of 40 scholars each year, these students are empowered to make a positive impact in their field through exclusive seminar courses, dedicated success coaching, and support of faculty and staff.

Beyond developing students individually, the academy fosters an environment in the engineering community at large to increase gender diversity in the workforce and a sense of belonging for women in engineering, computing and construction.

Following is a list of students in the 2023-24 cohort of the Peter Kiewit Foundation Engineering Academy, listed alphabetically by hometown, with their major. Their primary campus is in parentheses.

  • Alliance: Sonny Gonzalez, computer science (Lincoln)
  • Bellevue: Emma McManus, biological systems engineering (Lincoln)
  • Bennington: Jonathan Massey, mechanical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Columbus: Samantha Johnston, electrical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Dakota City: Evin Anderson, mechanical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Fremont: Heather Smith, chemical engineering (Lincoln); McKenzie Thayer, computer engineering (Lincoln)
  • Grand Island: Alieka Matzner, mechanical engineering (Lincoln); Claudia Vasquez, construction management (Omaha)
  • Gretna: Madeline Oetting, environmental engineering (Omaha)
  • Imperial: Keirsten Colton, architectural engineering (Omaha)
  • La Vista: Kaitlyn Vuong, architectural engineering (Omaha)
  • Lincoln: Zehra Almaleki, computer science (Lincoln); Seth Dobrusky, computer engineering (Omaha); Joshua Martinez, computer science (Lincoln); Hannah Tlamka, chemical engineering (Lincoln); Anna Woodshank, mechanical engineering (Lincoln); Sergio Zavala, electrical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Norfolk: Layla Hernandez, civil engineering (Lincoln)
  • Ogallala: Jameson Krab, chemical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Omaha: Dahlia Acolatse, computer science (Lincoln); Zachary Corey, civil engineering (Lincoln); Elizabeth Evans, environmental engineering (Lincoln); Samantha Hintz, software engineering (Lincoln); Kareem Hudson, mechanical engineering (Lincoln); Lila Mock, civil engineering (Lincoln); Tyra Onyango, software engineering (Lincoln); Wendy Pacheco-Menjivar, undeclared (Omaha); Kathleen Peklo, software engineering (Lincoln); Shreenaya Sanjeevi, undeclared (Lincoln); Kashau Scott, mechanical engineering (Omaha); Shaw Reh, civil engineering (Omaha)
  • Orchard: Caitey Ruzicka, civil engineering (Lincoln)
  • Papillion: Lauryn Hodges, architectural engineering (Omaha)
  • Ralston: Corbin Hough, civil engineering (Omaha)
  • Seward: Elianah Wunderlich, mechanical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Sidney: Krishnaraj Ganesan, software engineering (Lincoln)
  • Springfield: Alexander Rice, chemical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Trenton: Trent Kisker, mechanical engineering (Lincoln)
  • Wahoo: Grant Ryan, architectural engineering (Omaha)

The program is funded and developed in partnership with the Peter Kiewit Foundation, a private independent philanthropic trust that has awarded more than $750 million in grants and scholarships since its founding in 1979.

The foundation was established by Peter Kiewit, a generous philanthropist and community leader who believed that Omaha was the best place to live in the United States. He attributed his success to the hardworking people of Nebraska and was determined to return his wealth and good fortune to its communities. After thoughtful planning throughout his lifetime, the bulk of his personal estate was set aside upon his death to create a foundation to support charitable and public purpose projects in Nebraska and other limited geographic areas. The foundation is not legally or administratively affiliated with the operating companies that also bear Peter Kiewit’s name.

Learn more about the Peter Kiewit Foundation Engineering Academy.

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