Michigan Tech Students Receive 2023-24 MCWT Scholarships

Olivia Klevorn, Natalie Hiller, and Paula Stolar
Paula Stolar and Natalie Hilliker

Four Michigan Tech students were among the honorees at the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) 2023 Scholarship Recognition ceremony, which took place June 14, 2023, at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services in Farmington Hills, MI.

Computer Science major Natalie Hilliker was awarded the MCWT Ally Scholarship for 2023-24. Natalie is a member of Michigan Tech’s Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS) student organization, Hockey Spirits Squad, and Keweenaw Pride. New to MCWT last year, this summer Natalie jumped in to volunteer with MCWT’s Camp Infinity, a series of week-long, interactive technology camps held at several college campuses across Michigan for girls in grades 5 through 12.

Natalie aspires to a career in UX design and computer science to make the internet a more accessible place for everyone.

Michigan Tech CS major Leiya Rybicki won the MCWT Masco Scholarship for 2023-24, and Husky Annika Price won the MCWT Flagstar Bank Scholarship for 2023-24. Fall 2023 incoming Michigan Tech student Olivia Klevorn received the MCWT Amerisure Scholarship for 2023-24.

“Olivia knew she wanted to go to Tech since she was 10 years old after attending a website development camp at Tech where she learned the basics of coding,” says Paula Stolar, senior technology director at Ally Financial Services. “Her first website was purple and all about her Lego sets.” Olivia has been actively involved in Houghton (Michigan) High School’s First Robotics as the programming lead and captain of her team.

Olivia is interested in software engineering with an emphasis on AI/ML. She would like to use these skills to be part of a project that improves the environment, working on either climate change or pollution in the Great Lakes.

“While I did not have the opportunity to meet Leiya and Annika, I was very impressed by both Natalie and Olivia and I plan to stay in touch with them throughout their time at Tech!” says Stolar.

All four 2023-24 MCWT scholarship recipients from Michigan Tech participated in the Women in Computing Sciences (WICS) Summer Youth Program at Michigan Tech prior to joining the university. The WiCS program, for students in grades 9-11, exposes young women to the breadth of computer science from artificial intelligence to security. WiCS participants develop a software project in a team, hear about real-life experiences and challenges in the field from Michigan Tech alumnae, and tour a local software development firm.

Paula Stolar ’92 is a dedicated supporter of Michigan Tech, the College of Computing, and the Department of Computer Science. She is a member of the College of Computing External Advisory Board (EAB).

MCWT provides scholarships to women who have the interest, aptitude, and potential for a successful career in computer science. A strong network of partner companies and individuals who support a diverse technology industry in Michigan makes this program possible.