Congrats are in order for a just-graduated local high school student: Emmalene Kurtis, of Newport, RI, received the 2017 A.H. Kits van Heyningen Technology Scholarship from KVH, a company founded in her hometown. A 2017 graduate of Portsmouth Abbey School, Miss Kurtis is planning to begin her studies in biology at American University, in Washington, DC, this September.
“We are thrilled to have Emmalene as our newest KVH Technology Scholar, and congratulate her on being chosen from among this year’s very competitive applicants,” says Mike Simon, senior systems engineer at KVH, and a member of this year’s panel of scholarship judges. “We wish her the best as she heads to American University to pursue her studies.”
At Portsmouth Abbey School, Miss Kurtis achieved a 3.8 grade point average while taking a majority of Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She became particularly interested in the uses of 3D printers in medical technology as a result of a medical physiology course, and in her free time, she worked on designing a heart valve with the 3D printer, to gain an understanding of how it works and how its design might be improved. Miss Kurtis spent a summer working in the Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing center in Newport, and had a research internship with an infectious disease doctor at Newport Hospital last summer.
Miss Kurtis is the most recent recipient of the $1,000 award, which is presented annually to a high school senior who is either a resident of Aquidneck Island, attending a high school on Aquidneck Island, or the child or grandchild of a current KVH employee. In addition, the recipient must be planning to pursue a science, technology, engineering, arts, or math (STEAM) program at a four-year college. Beginning this year, the scholar will receive an additional $1,000 award prior to the second year of college, and the scholar will be considered for a paid internship at KVH before the third and fourth years of college.
KVH started its technology scholarship program in 2008 in recognition of the importance that STEAM professionals play in the current and future success of the company and the local economy. KVH is a leading global source of solutions for mobile connectivity and inertial navigation. The A.H. Kits van Heyningen Technology Scholarship is named for KVH’s late co-founder and chief scientist.