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USD Announces First ‘Women Imagine the Future Fund’ Scholarship

EducationUSD Announces First ‘Women Imagine the Future Fund’ Scholarship

University of San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

In April this year, the University of San Diego (USD) announced its new Master of Science in Engineering, Sustainability and Health (MESH) degree program.

In keeping with the values of MESH, Academic Director Dr. Caroline Baillie decided that there would need to be a specific fund developed to ensure equity of access, so parallel with the program’s launch, the MESH team developed the “Women Imagine the Future Fund.”

“We see it [the fund] as a way to bring the brilliance of women from different cultures and ways of knowing to the table — only together will we solve our global interconnected problems,” Baillie said.

The fund focuses on women from low-income countries, who, without this funding, would not be able to benefit from the program and bring their ideas and creativity together with others across the globe to co-create solutions for our future. 

Lilian Maruti. Courtesy photo

Paragon Institute of Innovation along with USD and USD’s Professional and Continuing Education programs awarded a full scholarship to Lilian Maruti, a construction engineer in Kenya. Many inspiring women candidates applied from many countries and went through a rigorous online application and zoom interview process, the university said. 

Maruti currently has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and was one of two finalists called to a final interview. Currently, she works as a civil engineer at Ditco Engineering Construction Company, where her key role is direct construction operation activities; specifically, providing technical guidance and advice for project implementation. She determines the best practices and methodologies to use in these vast construction projects.

“Lilian is the perfect candidate for MESH,” Baille said. “She seeks to become a leader for sustainability and health in her country with projects in mind that she can work on during and after the MESH program.” 

Maruti described the scholarship as “a dream come true.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for me to learn, adopt and incorporate transdisciplinary sustainable practices,” she said. “The lessons drawn from this USD program would help me influence construction practices in Kenya with a focus on ensuring environmental preservation, improving standards of living as well as guaranteeing the highest standards of environmental and human health in my country. I am honored.”

Paragon Institute of Innovation also provided $1,000 scholarships that were awarded to the first 10 to enroll in the new USD MESH program. 

With a class format that is 100% online, the program targets busy professionals who want to earn their MESH degree while balancing the demands of work and family life from anywhere in the county and in the end, the world. It takes approximately 20 months (five semesters) to complete and is now accepting applications for the term starting Sept. 6. The deadline to enroll for the fall semester for the MESH program is Aug. 1.

For more information, go to onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu.

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