The Program

The SPARC [scholarships] program is a series of Ted-style speaking events throughout the year and the speakers will be undergraduate and graduate CWRU students. Each year, several speaking events will be held to choose the finalists who speak at the Final Speaking Event. Students who would like to be speakers or members of the Scholarships Committee may apply online. Please see the apply tab for more information.

Each event will have a specific topic and each topic will fit within the chosen theme for that year. The open audience, including CWRU students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community, will vote on the winner(s).  The events’ top-placing speaker will have a place at the Final Speaking Event and will elaborate on their previous speech. The winners of each event will receive a scholarship, with a larger scholarship going to the winner(s) of the final event. To learn more about the details of this event, please check out the first infographic below!

SPARC [scholarships] was founded in 2016 by CWRU alumna, Jackie Adams and undergraduate student, Emma Headley. Jackie saw the need for a speaking series that focused on the experience of minority groups in STEM-based careers, and Emma desired to build a sustainable scholarship program that awarded students speaking about important topics. Working together, they created the foundation of this scholarship speaking series.

The Theme

This year, the theme of the program will be the experience of minorities within the STEM field, which include, but are not limited to, women, ethnic minorities, members of the LGBT community, and individuals with disabilities. This theme was chosen in order to shed more light on a commonly overlooked topic. While there seems to be a focus on getting these minorities interested in the STEM field, research shows that there seems to be a less of a focus on the experiences these groups have once they enter the field. This programs aims to raise awareness about this crucial topic. To learn more about why there should be a greater focus on this topic, please check out the second infographic below.