The League of Railway Women (LRW) has selected the winners of a pair of scholarships—the Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship and the Future of Railroading Scholarship—for the 2022-23 school year.
Sarah Taylor, Director of Business Systems Analysis at Kansas City Southern, was awarded the $3,000 Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship. Awarded to a woman pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree and seeking to further her career in the rail industry, the award honors the memory of former LRW President Connie Sumara, a LRW founder and the group’s longest-serving President. Taylor is pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Jessica Harrisson was awarded the $2,000 Future of Railroading Scholarship. This award is presented to a student pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree, with an interest in supporting the rail industry. Harrisson is completing her Bachelor of Civil Engineering at École de Technologie Supérieur in Montreal.
“The LRW would like to thank all of this year’s applicants for their impressive submissions and encourages them to apply again next year for these annual opportunities,” the association said.
“The rail industry is thriving thanks to the contributions of women like Sarah and Jessica,” LRW Scholarship Chair Crystal Gitchell said. “Pursuing a post-secondary education while working full-time and balancing lives, families and responsibilities, especially amidst a global pandemic, is a feat! We hope that these scholarships help bring our winners closer to achieving their dreams.”
“I am honored to be awarded the Connie Sumatra Scholarship,” Sarah Taylor said. “The opportunities I have been afforded while working in the rail industry have helped shape me into the leader I am today. It is these opportunities, and the wonderful people I have worked with, that inspired me to pursue higher education.”
“I am extremely proud to have been selected this year to receive this scholarship,” Jessica Harrisson said. “Also, I am especially happy to be able to follow the footsteps of great women before me and to have the opportunity to inspire other women to pursue in the engineering world. A big thank you to the league of railway women for the great opportunity.”
For more about the scholarship program, visit the LRW website.
In related news, Sarah Yurasko, LRW President and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association Sr. Vice President Law and General Counsel, will serve as a co-moderator at Railway Age’s inaugural Rail Insights: Women in Rail Virtual Conference, to be held Nov. 10.