VT-MIT recently announced nine recipients of its inaugural MIT Scholars Program award. The recipients are (top row, from left) Rhea Bhatia, Elsie Darko, Danielle Harris, (middle row, from left) Robert Hoggard, Derek Johnson, Janna Kiseeva, (bottom row, from left) KJ Moore, Gregory Parker, and Jorge Tardio Urquidi.

Recently, Virginia Tech’s Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) program launched a scholarship program designed to aid traditionally underrepresented student populations. The MIT Scholars program will provide an average of $2,000 per term for tuition and fees to help support applicants who are pursuing a Master of Information Technology degree.

Recipients of the fall 2022 MIT Scholars award are Rhea Bhatia, Elsie Darko, Dani Harris, Robert Hoggard, Derek Johnson, Janna Kiseeva, KJ Moore, Gregory M. Parker, and Jorge Tardio Urquidi. 

“These MIT Scholars found their way to Information Technology through unconventional paths.” said Alison Garrett, associate director of VT-MIT. “They have such amazing backgrounds and aspirations; we look forward to helping them with this next step in their career.”

“The MIT Scholars program is an excellent model of intentional ways to achieve greater diversity in IT, a field that is disproportionately underrepresented at the intersection of race and gender,” said Janice Branch Hall, assistant dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Pamplin College. “This program also advances Pamplin’s strategic aspirations of enhancing diverse representation of graduate students. Bringing in broad perspectives and unique experiences to the classroom expands student learning abilities so our graduates will be more prepared to navigate the dynamic IT world.”

We have a stated goal of achieving 20 percent underrepresented minorities in the entering class of master’s students by 2024 and this program will not only move the needle but will make a positive contribution toward addressing a much larger systemic issue.”

Hear more from these MIT Scholars in the coming months and learn how they came to information technology and what their plans are for the future. Each recipient will be making a difference in their respective communities.

VT-MIT, named the #3 Best Online Program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, was commissioned more than 20 years ago by the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is designed as a collaborative program with the College of Engineering and Pamplin College of Business to provide aspiring and experienced IT professionals with the interdisciplinary knowledge they need to succeed without having to sacrifice their current jobs to do so.

MIT Scholars must be enrolled in at least six credits in their first fall or spring term in the VT-MIT program. Each student must also be recognized as contributing to the diversity of VT-MIT and identified as traditionally underrepresented in technology. The scholarship may be renewed for students with good academic performance and who remain continuously enrolled, up to a maximum number of award terms of four.