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Steve Chaplin
IU Communications

Last modified: Thursday, November 8, 2012

EBay Inspire, inspired by IU alumnus, awards scholarships to seven female tech students

IU grad Sundaresan, director of eBay Research Labs, created awards program

Nov. 8, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An eBay-funded scholarship program created by an Indiana University computer science alumnus has awarded $84,000 in scholarships and professional development awards to seven female technology students at IU.

The IU/eBay Inspire Scholars program provides scholarship support and a learning community to support student success in computing fields. As a leader in the technology market, eBay is especially focused on the goal of increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing.

The eBay Inspire Scholars program will send the newly selected seven IU Bloomington students to eBay headquarters next week for a kick-off celebration in their honor. In addition to a $5,000 scholarship for two years, each winner will also be funded to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing national conference, will be assigned an upperclass female sponsor and be offered additional academic support as needed.

The 2012 winners are Michelle Glozman of Carmel, Ind., Cecilia Gutknecht of Columbus, Ind., Caprice Hausfeld of Fairfield, Ohio, Jessica Hughes of Lafayette, Ind., Bonny Rattray of Kokomo, Ind., Julie Rogers of Argos, Ind., and Morgyn Thompson of Greenwood, Ind.

The gift supports women or economically and socially disadvantaged students studying informatics or computer science.

"We are honored to be one of the two initial university members of the eBay Inspire program," said Maureen Biggers, associate dean of diversity and education at the School of Informatics and Computing. "Providing opportunities for women and minorities is a top priority for us here, so we're pleased to partner with eBay to encourage young people to pursue an education or career in a computing-related field."

The Inspire program is the brainchild of IU computer science alumnus Neel Sundaresan, who received his Ph.D. from IU Bloomington in 1995. Sundaresan is senior director and head of eBay Research Labs. Before joining eBay in 2005, Sundaresan had been head of the Emerging Internet Technologies group at the IBM Research Center, where he was credited with building the first XML-based search engine.

The three-part program includes Inspire Girls in Engineering, which aims to send girls into careers in science and engineering; a mentoring relationship with disadvantaged schools in the San Francisco Bay Area; and the pilot eBay Inspire Scholars program offering scholarships in science and engineering to students at IU and University of California Santa Cruz.

For more information or to speak with Biggers, please contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or