Scholarships Awarded

Foundation Gives Students a Look at Tomorrow’s Possibilities 

Seven students studying for careers as meeting professionals will experience Convening Leaders firsthand, thanks to scholarships awarded by the PCMA Education Foundation. The Foundation handed out 58 total Convening Leaders scholarships to faculty, professionals, and students throughout 2015.

For many of the student winners, it’s their first opportunity to attend Convening Leaders, where they will get a glimpse of today’s trends, tomorrow’s possibilities — and the industry professionals who are making a difference.

“One of our signature initiatives is our scholarship program,” said Gary Schirmacher, CMP, 2015 chair of the PCMA Education Foundation. “We provide more than 50 scholarships to students and professionals throughout the year. We also recently formed an alumni group of our previous scholarship recipients, and it has been wonderful to hear their success stories and how they’ve stayed engaged with the industry.”

The PCMA Education Foundation fuels advancement, nurtures professional development, and shapes future meetings industry leaders by financially committing to grants for scholarships, educational programming, and research for innovation. The Foundation received a record number of scholarship applications last year, including many from students and student chapters that haven’t applied in the past.

The Foundation’s Chairmen’s Scholarship, in partnership with NYC & Company, provides two students with complimentary registration, four nights of housing, and round-trip airfare to attend Convening Leaders, as well as a $2,500 tuition-based award. Applicants must be current student members of PCMA, be enrolled for at least six credit hours in a college major directly related to the meetings or hospitality industry, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Applicants were required to submit a current resume, an unofficial copy of a university transcript, an essay that addressed three goals in attending Convening Leaders and its impact on them as a student, a list of five questions they wanted to pose to PCMA’s chairmen, and two letters of recommendation.

This year’s Chairmen’s Scholarship recipients are Corey Kozak and Rebecca Lino, both students at the University of South Carolina.

The Convening Leaders Scholarship provides five PCMA student members with complimentary registration, four nights of housing, and round-trip airfare to attend Convening Leaders. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements similar to those of the Chairmen’s Scholarship, with a minimum 2.75 GPA.

Recipients of this scholarship are Tami Cornelius and Alexandra Smith, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Meagan Crowl, University of South Carolina; Jordan Hensley, Michigan State University; and Teresa Myers, Prince George’s Community College.

In addition, Michigan State University and the University of South Carolina received the Student Chapter of the Year Scholarship, which is given to chapters that demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and membership growth. Each will receive $1,000 to be used toward educational programs in 2016.

Beginning in 2016, the Foundation — in partnership with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau — will also hand out five Professional Scholarships to corporate meeting planners seeking to engage with PCMA. The scholarships will include registration and housing for three nights at Convening Leaders, PCMA membership for one year, and a six-module subscription to PCMA’s Business Event Series.