We are proud to announce that four Cosmographers have been selected for the 2023 Acxiom Diversity Scholarship program.

This year’s Acxiom Diversity Scholarship award marks its 11th year as a program, which typically awards the scholarship to 10 students nationwide. Four of COSMOS students have won the scholarships this year, who are

  • Qudirat Akanji, a graduate student in Business Information Systems and Analytics
  • Mary Nwaife Mezue, a graduate student in Business Information Systems and Analytics
  • Lotenna Nwana, a graduate student in Business Information Systems and Analytics
  • Anulika Pearl Nwashili, a graduate student in Bioinformatics

This scholarship provides $5,000 for US students from diverse backgrounds who are studying graduate or higher technology degrees full-time. Acxiom, based in Conway, encourages education in computer sciences, informational sciences, and mathematics & engineering. The initiative aims to decrease equality gaps by helping fund the education of the underprivileged and underrepresented. Below are their quotes on what this scholarship means to them.

Each of these scholars speaks to what their research entails and what this scholarship means to them. Read their words below.

Anulika: “Driven by an unwavering passion for creating therapeutic solutions, I am pursuing a Master’s in Bioinformatics, specializing in drug discovery and precision medicine. My fervor for this field drives me to delve into groundbreaking research, such as developing novel therapeutic medication for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and advancing Alzheimer’s drug discovery with a patient-specific treatment approach. My dedication extends to the digital field as well. As a researcher at COSMOS, I study cyber social behaviors, exploring online community dynamics and technology’s impact on interactions. Through my research endeavors at COSMOS, my aim is to contribute meaningfully to society by promoting responsible online behavior. The Acxiom diversity scholarship provides invaluable support, opening doors to fellowship programs, workshops, and exclusive research resources. With my research needs addressed, I am poised to contribute to the development of enhanced effective treatments for terminal diseases and to play a pivotal role in mitigating malicious and toxic online behavior.”

Mary: “I am thrilled and inspired to embark on this journey as an Acxiom Diversity Scholar, leveraging the power of data to make informed decisions, create innovative products, and drive positive change in the world. Working as a research assistant at COSMOS has exposed me to understanding how to utilize data in identifying patterns and trends within the social computing industry, which provides valuable insights into community dynamics, online behavior, social interactions and understanding digital communities. This aligns well with Acxiom’s offerings which provide unique insights into people’s attitudes, behaviors, and preferences that enable brands to understand what is relevant and timely to a given audience. This scholarship represents more than just financial support; it symbolizes Acxiom’s unwavering dedication to creating a diverse workforce that reflects our world. It is a reminder that we all have a role to play in championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Qudirat: “Being one of the ten recipients of the Acxiom Diversity Scholarship is an immense honor that I do not take lightly. The scholarship has contributed to my education by enabling me to attend professional conferences relevant to my career. Aimed at nurturing diverse talent in the technology industry, the scholarship, together with my ongoing work as a researcher at the COSMOS Research Center – UALR, where I analyze political trends in the Indo-Pacific region, have been essential in building my career as a data analyst in the technology sector. I am grateful for the opportunity and support I have received thus far and hope to be able to pay it forward. With this award, I am excited to continue my journey of learning and growing in the industry.”

Lotenna: “Being an International Student is not very easy. In multiple aspects, it can be difficult to adapt to the new culture. This makes the Acxiom Diversity Scholarship much more critical in enabling academic success given the glaring cultural challenges.  What sets my work and background apart is the unique perspective and diversity I bring especially as someone from a different culture. Receiving the prestigious Acxiom Diversity Scholarship is an immense honor that validates my commitment to academic excellence, research and leadership as an international student. This underscores the work that I am doing with COSMOS Research Center – UALR, where my research work is primarily focused on leveraging social computing techniques to drive the analysis of key challenges across the Indo-Pacific region. The scholarship is instrumental in furthering my academic pursuits, enabling me to access essential study materials and attend pivotal professional conferences. With unwavering dedication and the support of Acxiom, I am confident in my ability to make significant contributions to the field of social computing.”

Acxiom is not only a data-driven customer intelligence company — it is also part of the central Arkansas community. This scholarship continues to help provide students of all backgrounds who exemplify achievement in Acxiom’s field of study and professional ambition.