Lauren Koske (left) and Sarabeth Mullins
The International Communications Industries Foundation (ICIF), a non-profit charitable and educational organization created by InfoComm International to support the AV industry, has announced the two recipients of the 2016 Michael Vergauwen Scholarship. Lauren Koske, a junior from the University of Central Missouri, and Sarabeth Mullins, a junior from Biola University in California, will both receive $5,000 to support their education in the AV field.
Koske is working towards a bachelor's degree in digital media production and is passionate about live audio and event technologies. In addition to her courses, she is gaining on-the-job experience working for the university's Event Technologies department. Koske is also interested in the film and television programming side of AV production. She currently produces a bi-weekly web show called iCentral for the university's newspaper and is completing an internship with the public television station KMOS PBS.
"The coursework in the Communications Department teaches us technical skills but also encourages us to gain practical experience outside of the classroom to make us even more employable," Koske said.
"From making videos on campus, to working for the university news, to independent projects, Koske gets others involved in her passion and uses her creativity and talents to better people around her," said Tiger Simpson, resident hall director at University of Central Missouri, commenting on his nomination of Koske.
Also receiving a 2016 Michael Vergauwen Scholarship is Sarabeth Mullins, a junior at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. Mullins was inspired to pursue an education in the AV field by watching her father, a longtime AV consultant. Her interest grew over the years and she eventually helped him work on pro bono AV projects for churches.
When it came time to choose her college major, Mullins selected music composition in order to diversify her experience. Music composition has taught her to think critically about the artistic side of sound production. "I know that my background as a musician will give me a unique perspective on audiovisual design, which will improve the experience for the end user," Mullins said.
"This scholarship program was created to honor the late Michael Vergauwen's contributions to the AV industry," said Ron Camden, president of the ICIF and vice president of Global Sales for Biamp. "The ICIF board chose to celebrate his memory by supporting students as they pursue an education and career in AV. This year we are very proud to award the Michael Vergauwen Scholarship to two students who show a deep passion for the AV industry, and we look forward to watching their careers."
The Michael Vergauwen Scholarship fosters educational opportunities, enhancing the audiovisual industry's service to the public through scholarships, curriculum development, community engagement and the promotion of careers in the AV field. Vergauwen's dedication to the industry serves as a model for all InfoComm members.
The ICIF is dedicated to promoting all aspects of workforce development in the AV field. "From participation in outreach activities, like the USA Science & Engineering Festival, to our innovative grant program, which combines internships, scholarships and mentoring, the ICIF is committed to attracting the next generation of AV professionals into the industry," said Betsy Jaffe, executive director, International Communications Industries Foundation. "Right now much of our efforts are focused on getting InfoComm's AV curriculum into colleges, universities and technical schools."
Companies and individuals wishing to contribute financially to these efforts can send donations to: ICIF, 11242 Waples Mill Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030. Checks should be made payable to the International Communications Industries Foundation. Donations will be tax deductible as provided by Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.