Encouraging Diversity for the Future of the IT Sector

Acxiom proudly promotes diversity among its associates. A key pillar of our company principles, we strive to create a supportive and inclusive workplace environment where all employees feel empowered to share their unique perspectives and values. To help drive this mentality forward, influence the future of the information technology workplace and encourage young people to embrace their individuality, Acxiom started the Diversity Scholarship Program six years ago.

Each year, Acxiom offers $5,000 scholarships to U.S.-based students from diverse backgrounds who are enrolled in a full-time post-secondary degree program. The focus disciplines for the scholarship include computer science, computer information systems, management information systems, information quality, information systems, engineering, mathematics, statistics and other related areas of study.

To ensure we recognize the most highly qualified students, we have established rigorous eligibility requirements and selection criteria. All applicants must:

  • be a member of a diverse population that historically has been underrepresented in the information technology workforce
  • be enrolled or registered as a full-time student studying one of the aforementioned subjects at an accredited college or university
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • be a junior, senior or graduate student at the time of application complete an in-depth Acxiom Diversity Scholarship application
  • submit a current transcript, resume, and letter of recommendation from a professor, employer, or personal contact who can reference the applicant’s academic strengths
  • write a personal statement that describes how the scholarship will help the applicant achieve academic, professional, and personal goals

Overall, recipients of the Diversity Scholarship are selected based on their impeccable ability to demonstrate a combination of academic achievement in a field of study aimed at information technology and professional interest related to Acxiom’s business needs. In addition to the scholarship, winners have the opportunity to complete a paid internship at one of Acxiom’s sites where they will gain real-world experience and develop IT skills utilized in the industry today. Because Acxiom is so well known and hires more interns for in Arkansas than any other location, the majority of applicants each year hail from central Arkansas schools. Acxiom’s award decisions were especially challenging this year given the quality of the scholarship applications received.

We are very pleased to announce that the 2017 Acxiom Diversity Scholarship recipients are:

  • Ciara Chesser – Computer Systems Engineering at University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • Gary Dewayne Blanks II – Information Science at University of Arkansas Little Rock
  • Jacques Iragena – Computer Science at Philander Smith College, Little Rock
  • Kylie Stephens – Information Systems at Harding University, Searcy, Ark.
  • Maxie Xiong – Business Data Analytics at Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Ark.
  • Mukti Barole Shobha Sangappa – Computer Science at University of Arkansas Little Rock
  • Patrick Niyongabo – Computer Science at Hendrix College, Conway, Ark.
  • Vishnu Pillai – Information Quality at University of Arkansas Little Rock

Acxiom also provides the previous year’s participants the opportunity to apply for an annual renewal of $5,000 for up to one year. The criteria for renewal are that the applicant continues to be enrolled as a full time student at an accredited degree-granting institution in an IT field, maintains a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and continues to meet internship expectations (if the opportunity was offered). This year, two 2016 Acxiom Diversity Scholarship recipients will receive an additional $5,000 “renewal” scholarship:

  • Aziz Eram – Information Quality graduate student at University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Olivier Kwizera – Computer Science and Math at Hendrix College, Conway, Ark.

“We congratulate our 2017 scholarship recipients on this exciting achievement,” said Scott Howe, Acxiom CEO and president. “Acxiom is passionate about helping the next generation of leaders pursue their dreams through computer science and information technology careers. Our support is designed to position them for future success, and foster a more diverse pool of qualified talent, which will benefit the marketing and technology industries for years to come.”


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