Two students named 2019 ITI Data Scholarship winners

Aug 14, 2019      By Victoria Grdina

Gauri Ramesh and Nathan Ullman
Gauri Ramesh and Nathan Ullman

Two students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering have been selected as the winners of the ITI Data Vision in Technology Scholarship for the academic year of 2019-20.

Gauri Ramesh and Nathan Ullman were named scholarship recipients on July 5. Ramesh and Ullman were selected for the scholarships by faculty based on 2-page vision statements they submitted about impacting the world through computing. Each will receive a $12,500 one-year scholarship that will allow them to focus on their studies and the pursuit of their vision.

Through the generous support of ITI Data’s CEO and founder, CSE alumnus Brian Vaske, the department was able to offer the ITI Data Vision in Technology Scholarship to two students annually based on their academic accomplishments and the quality of their written statements. 

This is the second year the ITI Data Scholarship has been awarded to two CSE students. Vaske said the department’s 50thanniversary milestone in 2018 was the perfect opportunity to begin giving back to his alma mater. 

“I thought it was an optimal time to increase my involvement and support of the department that played such an important role in my personal and career development,” Vaske said.

Ramesh and Ullman will spend their upcoming school year pursuing additional academic achievements as well as the impactful initiatives they proposed in their scholarship applications.

Ramesh’s vision statement focused on promoting diversity and inclusion within the department and the technology industry. Her plan included spending her senior year working with CSE faculty to expand opportunities for women and minorities within the department. Ramesh is an active member of Computing for All: an ACM-W Chapter, a student organization dedicated to promoting diversity in computing on campus. She is a co-founder of Girls Code Lincoln, a nonprofit organization helping girls in fourth through ninth grade develop coding and leadership skills. In 2019, Ramesh was inducted into the university’s Mortar Board and was one of 10 students recognized at the inaugural Student Luminary Awards, which honors students who “shine a light on Nebraska” with emphasis on academic accomplishments, diversity, and inclusion. She spent this past summer working as a software engineering intern for Microsoft.

“I strive to make a difference through building a world where technology reflects those who use it,” Ramesh said. “The ITI Data Vision in Technology Scholarship will allow me to spend my senior year putting my plans of increasing inclusion in technology into action, while broadening my skills as a computer scientist through my studies.”

Ullman’s vision statement also focused on increasing diversity within the technology community through opportunity and resource expansion initiatives. Ullman plans to spend his senior year founding programs in the Lincoln Catholic Schools he attended where there are currently few or no technology-focused clubs and activities. Ullman is a co-director and mentor for the Lincoln Robotics League, a robotics-focused after-school program for middle school students. He is also an active member of Initialize, a student organization dedicated to using technology skills for service. 

“I’ve always wanted to make an impact, and the most difficult part is getting an idea off the ground,” Ullman said. “This scholarship would offer me that launch pad. I’d be able to focus on what I’m passionate about: spreading computing to everyone.”