Dublin City University (DCU) student Tessa Ronan has been awarded the 2016 Pat McMahon Master-level scholarship to work at the USA headquarters of the Cork-based Cypress SemiConductor and study at San Jose State University.
Ms Ronan is the first female recipient to receive this scholarship.
The scholarship is the first masters level exchange to be offered by a US-Irish sister city programme relationship and will see Tessa take up a nine-month study and work placement in January of next year.
Ms Ronan, who is studying electronic systems engineering in DCU, said it is a “huge opportunity” for her and she is looking forward to getting involved with the team in San Jose.
“Getting to do a project with a company rather than just doing it in DCU will be a very exciting experience and to be able to work for Cypress Semiconductor is something that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise,” she said.
As the first female recipient of the scholarship, Ms Ronan said it is important to focus on women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) sectors.
Congrats to Tessa Ronan who was awarded the 2016 Pat McMahon Master-level scholarship to study&work in San Jose State University— DCU Research Support (@DCU_Research) October 23, 2015
Although she is “used to working in a male industry”, Ms Ronan said the focus on women in technology is positive.
“My former secondary school teacher has asked me to come into the school to chat to the girls about concentrating on STEM subjects and taking subjects like physics to Leaving Cert level,” she said.
With a division in Cork’s Riverview Business Park, Cypress Semiconductors has made a significant contribution to the scholarship and has helped to develop the careers of previous award winners.
Dublin City Director of International Relations Peter Finnegan said this scholarship is particularly important because it centres on the STEM disciplines.
He said it is a good example of a practical benefit of connecting cities.
“It’s strengthening the relationship between Ireland and the United States at city level and also at business level and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Mr Finnegan said having Ms Ronan as the first female recipient is significant.
“I don’t believe gender should make a difference, but I do believe that we don’t have enough people, in particular females, in certain employment categories,” said Mr Finnegan.