AVIXA Foundation Announces 2023 Scholarship Recipients
The AVIXA Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2023 scholarships. The program’s mission is to encourage and enable students from diverse backgrounds who show great potential to pursue careers in the audiovisual field; each winner is awarded $2,500.
“The AVIXA Foundation is dedicated to forging pathways for the development of future leaders in the AV industry. This scholarship program enables emerging professionals to acquire knowledge and skills that are relevant to their professional development, needs of society, and our market growth,” said Cristiano Mazza, CTS, AVIXA Foundation Board president and CEO of DUCaaS AV Outsourcing Services. “We are delighted to congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients, confident that they will thrive within our vibrant community. We eagerly anticipate the bright futures that lie ahead for them!”
The AVIXA Foundation’s elAVate Scholarship supports the growth of women and gender equality in the AV industry. The 2023 recipient is Megan Duncan, a California State University, Northridge (CSUN) student pursuing a master’s degree in educational technology. Duncan graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in technical theatre. In 2021, she joined the CSUN Academic Technology team as an instructional and media technologist to help the university ramp up its remote learning, hybrid, and Hyflex environments.
The Michael Vergauwen Scholarship honors the legacy of the late Michael Vergauwen, former COO of AVI Systems and long-time AVIXA board member. This year’s recipient is Kaela Patterson, a senior at UC San Diego working on a bachelor’s degree in visual arts media. She is very passionate about storytelling and hopes to work in the entertainment industry as a filmmaker, photographer, and AV technician.
The Mosaic Scholarship was conceived by AVIXA’s Diversity Council in support of further inclusivity within the global AV industry. It seeks to shine a light on individuals whose experience, background, and thinking will positively influence the future of the AV community. Thanks to donations by Legrand and Exertis Almo, the AVIXA Foundation was able to award four scholarships this year.
A Mosaic Scholarship was also awarded to Ashay Dave, who is pursuing a master’s degree in music engineering technology at the University of Miami. He was the audio engineer and one of the lead developers of Mangrove City VR, a project that won an Auggie Award at AWE 2023 for “Best Educating About Solutions to Climate Change.”
Mosaic Scholarship recipient Faith Pierce is a morning show producer for iHeartMedia. In 2022, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sound and recording arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. Pierce is currently enrolled in the music production master’s program at Berklee College of Music and is expected to complete her studies in 2024.
A Mosaic Scholarship was also awarded to Hanni Shahatto, a recent honors graduate and a current intern at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). Prior to attending OIART, he led several equity-based initiatives as a schoolteacher and aims to extend these efforts to his audio engineering career. Shahatto’s long-term goal is to become a re-recording mixer for film and to pave a pathway to audio for others from marginalized communities.
This scholarship program is part of the AVIXA Foundation’s initiative to support workforce development in the pro AV industry. The Foundation supports workforce development by creating awareness of careers in the global AV industry; enabling potential and emerging professionals through skills training, scholarships, and scholastic support; and developing a bridge between the industry and those who want to become AV professionals.
The Foundation offers many resources for students interested in careers in AV, including student memberships to AVIXA, which provide training and CTS exam preparation, a guide for setting up school tech crews, and more. Click here to learn more.