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Emerson Helix Innovation Scholarship Awarded to Outstanding University of Dayton Students

By Tayte Miller, communications intern

There is no doubt that students who go above and beyond are rewarded for doing so. Five University of Dayton students — including three engineering majors — were recently awarded the Helix Innovation Scholarship from Emerson for demonstrating excellence in creative thinking, innovation and problem-solving.

As a part of the scholarship, each student is rewarded $10,000 and assigned a mentor to help guide their interest in innovation and support their education and growth.

The recipients were recognized at the Helix Innovation Center on the University’s campus earlier this fall.  

The Helix Innovation 2019 Scholarships were awarded to the following University of Dayton students:

  1. Dejuan A. Marion, junior computer engineering major from Bedford, Ohio
  2. Vivian M. Mota, sophomore mechanical engineering major from Melrose Park, Illinois
  3. Adriana Paonessa, sophomore industrial engineering major from Coto Laurel, Puerto Rico
  4. Leigh Roberts, senior pre-med major from Noblesville, Indiana
  5. Mike Sundermeier, senior marketing major from Palos Park, Illinois

“The Emerson Helix scholarship award has provided me with the confidence and resources to know that I can succeed in my college career,” said Marion. “I am glad to know that my hard work and involvement as a University of Dayton computer engineering student has not gone unnoticed.”

Emerson is a global technology and engineering company that provides innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. This scholarship is rewarding for both the students and those employed at Emerson.

“Through the mentor relationships, our staff can stay engaged with young, creative minds,” said Rajan Rajendran, vice president of system innovation and sustainability for Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions platform. “We’re excited to partner with the University of Dayton to collaborate, inspire and help grow the future workforce.”

The 40,000 square foot Helix Innovation Center is located on the University’s campus and offers simulated environments that act as real-world, collaboration spaces for research. These include a fully-functional, furnished and connected home, a data center, a commercial kitchen, a model supermarket and a light commercial building.

“My interest in innovation comes from the mere curiosity to learn what the world has to offer,” said Paonessa. “We are capable of so much, and sometimes, we don’t push ourselves to be the best that we can be.”

Through this scholarship, students can put their innovative ideas into play and make them a reality in order to help propel the world forward. Congratulations to all recipients!

Pictured (left to right): Rajan Rajendran (Site Leader for Emerson Helix), Mike Sundermeier, Adriana Paonessa, Laura Bistrek (Executive Director, Diversity in Engineering Center, UD), Vivian Mota, Gerica Brown (Director, Diversity in Engineering Center, UD), Leigh Roberts, Dejuan Marion, Anna Runner (VP of HR at Emerson), Suzanne Pate (Director of Advancement, UD), Ken Monnier (Chief Technology Officer) and Brian LaDuca (Executive Director, IACT, UD)

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