Where Are They Now? An Update on our 2020 Watermark Scholars

March 31, 2021 Nikki Kowbel

The Watermark Scholars program launched in 2020 as a new women in tech scholarship designed to provide much-needed financial support to women pursuing an education or future career in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM). 

Our two winners were selected from an applicant pool of nearly 350 submissions, all with unique, compelling stories of who inspired them to pursue a career in STEM and their goals after graduation. We recently checked in with the 2020 Watermark Scholars to learn how their year has gone.

Kristen Palmer is majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Last semester, I took five classes: Intro to Data Structures and Algorithms, Fundamentals of Programming, Differential Equations, Chinese 3, and MIT and Slavery. I also continued interning with Xerox part-time," Palmer shared. "I did two internships in January. In one internship, I worked to redesign the website for a New York middle school. In the other, I worked with a MIT alum on his startup, where I did a lot of front- and back-end web development. I'm taking two tech classes this semester: Intro to Machine Learning and Circuits and Electronics. In addition, I'm taking Intro to Psychology, Chinese 4, and a drawing class. I am also doing research with MIT's Human Computer Interaction lab using 3D printing and laser cutting technologies. Going forward, I have secured an internship with a major tech company for this summer, and I plan to take AI classes next fall."

Elise Ogden is majoring in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Chemistry at Bethel University. "I am wrapping up senior year, trying to relish time with my friends and community as much as possible considering social responsibility in pandemic times," Ogden said. "I am working part-time at Walgreens as a pharmacy technician administering vaccinations. I just became a member-at-large and co-chair of community outreach for the Minnesota chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Hearing the stories of elders in the HD community has been inspiring. My first mission as co-chair is to distribute information about important topics, like how to spot and prevent abuse of vulnerable adults. My other goal is to help families improve scientific literacy. I am currently applying to my dream job and various post-baccalaureate research programs in order to prepare myself to apply for MD/PhD programs down the line."

Watermark is excited to once again offer women tech scholarships to support their STEM education and help them make their mark. Click here to learn more about the Watermark Scholars program or submit your application!

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