University of Wisconsin-Platteville alumnus Dr. Ronald Meissen and his wife, Eileen, are supporting engineering students through their newly established endowed Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE) Scholarship fund. Meissen, a member of the UW-Platteville Foundation Board of Directors, presented his idea of creating the scholarship to the CSSE advisory board to help recruit and retain students to the program. After his announcement, an advisory board member matched the Meissens’ donation of $25,000.
“My wife and I are pleased to support the CSSE program. It’s one of the institution’s growing centers of excellence,” said Meissen, a 1971 civil engineering graduate. “We invite others to consider donating to this fund, or a similar scholarship fund supporting another department. Together, we can quickly help more students overcome financial challenges.”
According to Meissen, although there are several scholarships available to students from the Foundation and outside sources, the CSSE Scholarship fund provides an additional funding opportunity to help students interested in those fields of study.
“These donations will allow us to double the number of scholarships available to CSSE students. The five new scholarships will be targeted at freshman students entering the computer science, software engineering and cybersecurity programs,” said Dr. Afzal Upal, professor and department chair of Computer Science and Software Engineering. “They will allow us to attract the best and brightest students to UW-Platteville. We are incredibly blessed to have generous donors such as the Meissens who are helping us provide high quality education to the next generation of students.”
Financial gifts are one example of giving back to the university, but Meissen explains how alumni can contribute to their respective programs in a variety of ways, from offering internships and co-ops to joining a department advisory board. Meissen said in his experience students are grateful for any support.
“UW-Platteville provided their graduates with an excellent education, which became the foundation of our careers. Interested alumni now have the opportunity to give back with their time, talent and resources to help students pursue their dreams,” he said. “Alumni working together makes a big impact. The involvement with students and the university is very rewarding.”
Inspiration between alumni helped launch the CSSE Scholarship fund and Meissen hopes this initiative will encourage other alumni and friends to establish similar funds for other departments at the university. The area of computer science, software engineering and cybersecurity is one of many occupations in high demand for UW-Platteville graduates.
“The CSSE program has achieved an excellent reputation with dedicated professors preparing students to excel in their CSSE careers,” said Meissen. “The individuals who have contributed to the scholarship fund are aware of the challenge many students face in funding their education. Together, we want students to pursue their studies in CSSE, be successful and attain a rewarding career.”
To contribute to the CSSE scholarship, visit uwplatt.edu/give.