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Grateful for their co-op experiences, engineering alumni establish new scholarships

Engineering alumni are demonstrating their confidence in Northeastern by establishing new scholarships at the College of Engineering.

"The co-op program lets students figure out a lot of the basics, so they can get right to work in their first real job. It's why I chose to go to Northeastern."

"I am delighted and encouraged by the generosity of our alumni," said Dean Allen L. Soyster. "They set an outstanding example and play an important role in Northeastern's efforts to attract and retain the best engineering students."

Hallemeier Funds Legacy Scholarship
Northeastern's co-op program gave Peter F. Hallemeier, E'93, a "real-world" view of the engineering profession and, he said, "a major head start in the ultra-competitive high-tech marketplace."

Hallemeier credited his co-op at Raython Company with giving "a complete tool set" to start his career.

"The co-op program lets students figure out a lot of the basics, so they can get right to work in their first real job. It's why I chose to go to Northeastern," said Hallemeier, who received a National Science Foundation fellowship as an undergraduate.

Now, Hallemeier is giving that head start to other engineering student Hallemeier is giving that head start to other engineering students with a $125,000 commitment to establish the Hallemeier Engineering Scholarship.

Part of the Legacy Program in the College of Engineering, the Hallemeier fund will provide a renewable $5,000 scholarship to an outstanding freshman each year. The legacy program is vital to helping Northeastern recruit the brightest engineering students. Currently, the program supports forty-four scholars.

"Northeastern gave me the practical skills to succeed in a practical world," said Hallemeier. "It's a great school that needs continuing alumni support to remain world-class."

Hallemeier, who earned a master's degree in optical engineering at the University of Rochester, is a vice president and founder of Optium Corporation, a fiber-optic communications start-up in Orlando, Florida.

Perlowitz Backs Women in Engineering
Engineer and business owner Valerie Perlowitz, E'86, is a eager to help more women join her traditionally male dominated profession. That's why she established the Valerie K. Perlowitz Women in Engineering Scholarships, which will provide a $ 5,000 scholarship to an outstanding female freshman planning to major in electrical or computer engineering.

"As the first scholarship designated especially for women engineers, Valerie's gifts is extremely for women engineers, Valerie's gift is extremely important to Northeastern and the profession," said Paula Leventman, director of Northeastern's Women in Engineering Program.

The annual award will help students close the gap between their financial aid and need. "Northeastern and co-op gave me an excellent education, and I had some of the best professors in the field," said Perlowitz. "Still you can't get there if you're worrying about how to pay for tuition and book."

Perlowitz was also inspired by the student gratitude generated by her earlier gift to the Women in Engineering Fund. "When I saw that my money was making a difference, I decided to do more."

A Northeastern corporator, Perlowitz is founder and CEP of Reliable Integration Services, A Virginia-based technology consulting firm.

McGrath and Ferriani Boost Student Pipeline
Timothy J. McGrath, E'73, and his wife, Roberta A. Ferriani, LA '70, firmly believe that Northeastern was vital to launching their careers. In fact, McGrath's co-op assignment at the engineering consulting firm of Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger Inc. in Arlington, Massachusetts, turned into his full-time career. Today, he is a principal with the firm. Ferriani is a biologist in the Harvard Institutes for Medicine.

"With my co-op and the education I got at Northeastern, I was very well equipped to practice engineering," said McGrath. He often seeks to hire Northeastern graduates, because he knows they will be well prepared for the rigors of the job.

To keep that engineer pipeline flowing, the couple has established the Timothy J. McGrath and Roberta A. Ferriani Engineering Scholarship with a commitment of $25,000. The scholarship will provide an annual $5,000 award for five years to an outstanding high school student.

College of Engineering
Cooperative Education
Women in Engineering
  This article appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Forefront.          

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