She is currently a Senior of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Brac University. She served the IEEE CS BRACU SBC as a Vice Chair throughout the year of 2020. As a young changemaker, her sheer amount of dedication, commitment and passion towards remoulding the local community thorough modern science and technology would definitely encourage a lot of other undergraduate students out there.

The REM Student Scholarship is offered each year by the IEEE Computer Society to espy highly disciplined student volunteer leaders within certain IEEE Student Branches or IEEE Computer Society Student Branch Chapters around the world. The scholarship grantee should be an Undergraduate or a Graduate Student in the field of Electrical or Computer Science Engineering. In addition to that, the grantee must have a strong academic record and a sound performance in extracurricular activities. The evaluation criteria are pretty much tight. It includes participation in student IEEE branch/chapter activities (30%), academic achievement (30%), extracurricular activities (10%), letter of recommendation from student branch/chapter advisor (20%), and quality of Student Ambassador vision statement (10%).

To know more about the Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship, click here.

It was lovely catching up with Jawaril. Here’s what she shared with us.

How are you Jawaril and what are you up to lately?

I’m good. Thank you for asking. I am currently caught up with my Spring’21 semester coursework. Aside from that, on being a Student Tutor, I get to spend quality time with junior students for more than a year now. Currently, I am working on my undergraduate thesis paper. So yeah, everything is going pretty smooth.

Can you tell us exactly what landed you on the Richard E.Merwin Student Scholarship? Why did you apply for the award?

I heard about this scholarship from a former EB member upon joining the Ex-Com panel of IEEE CS BRACU SBC as a Vice Chair back in January 2020. As soon as I got to know that the IEEE Computer Society rewards prestigious scholarships to students, I was so driven by it. I couldn’t help myself to visit IEEE Computer Society’s official website and searching for necessary information related to the Student Scholarship. There I came across the Richard E.Merwin Student Scholarship. 

On the website, I found that this award is named after the past president of IEEE Computer Society, Richard E.Merwin who is considered a pioneer in Digital Computer Engineering for his immense contribution to Computer Science and Engineering. I discovered that this award is given to a very few active student volunteers of IEEE who have not only excelled in academics but also showed significant contribution in IEEE Student Branches or IEEE Computer Society Student Chapters. I always wanted to work harder to represent the IEEE CS BRACU SBC and even to understand more about the activities of the IEEE Computer Society. This is the moment when I knew it’s going to be an amazing opportunity for me if I apply for this scholarship under the Fall 2020 session. Although I was not expecting to see myself as a winner in the first place. I just wanted to give it a shot. Yesterday, I was flabbergasted with joy after receiving the scholarship-winning email from the Merwin Award evaluation committee. I’m quite thankful to the IEEE Computer Society for choosing me as a grantee of this prestigious scholarship and to work as a Student Ambassador for a whole year.

Are there any specific rules as to how can you spend the prize money? What would you do with this scholarship fund?

There aren’t specific rules on how I can spend the prize money. I would like to spend this scholarship fund on a research project in the future. But I would like to donate a significant portion of it to buy study materials for some underprivileged children.

Share with us a typical day of your regular life.

I am a morning person. I wake up very early in the morning and get freshened up. I try to say my prayers 5 times a day. Then I study for 2 hours straight. Somedays usually on weekends, I help my parents prepare breakfast. After having my early meal in the morning, I attend my online classes or study for 2 hours again. Then I try to help my parents with some household chores. At around noon, I take my shower and say my prayers. After having lunch, I attend my classes again till the afternoon. Completing my Asr prayer, I go for a walk with my father. After returning home, I say my Maghrib prayer. In the evening, I try to spend some time with my family members with having some snacks together. The post evening is scheduled for consultation hour where I get to help my students in the coursework. I try to utilize the time from 7 pm-11 pm for extra-curricular works or even reading some tech articles when I don’t have any consultation. In between 9 pm-10 pm, I say my Esha prayer. I usually finish my dinner at 11 pm. Before going to bed, I spend some time on social media or watch some series on Netflix or some documentaries and travel blogs. Finally, at around midnight I go to bed.  

What are your biggest inspirations?

One thing that inspires me the most and helps me to enjoy this beautiful life is traveling. Traveling helps me to keep my mind fresh and energetic. I love to meet new people from different cultural backgrounds, interact with them and get introduced to their customs and culture. Traveling to different places helps me understand the world better, keeps me closer to nature and creates a sense of respect for the magnificent creations of the Almighty. So whenever I get a chance, I travel to different places both in our country and overseas. 

Again, if we talk about some human qualities that inspire me a lot then those are honesty, determination and willpower. These are the qualities that I’ve been discovering within my parents since childhood that inspire me the most. That is why I always try to possess these qualities in every step ahead of my life. 

Can you name an influential woman in STEM who you most admire?

It is difficult for me to take only one name as there are so many others whom I admire. Starting from the legendary Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace to Dr. Katie Bouman every woman who set an example in the STEM field through their research and innovations inspires me a lot. These extraordinary women help female students like us to break the stereotypes that exist in our society about girls working in the STEM field. For this reason, I admire all these women scientists and engineers. 

How can you contribute to help your community embrace technological advancement?

While applying for the REM student scholarship, I had to provide a statement which was about my vision as a Student Ambassador. I wrote in my application that if I am given the chance to become a Student Ambassador for IEEE Computer Society, then I would like to help young female students in STEM by introducing them to leading female engineers and scientists through webinars or workshops so that they can become inspired and motivated to contribute more in STEM through their dedication and talent. Besides, I also wanted to introduce the latest technologies and research to all the tech students both male and female through various National and International events. So that they can cope up with the developed countries and unlock future achievements for themselves. Now that I have become a student ambassador, I would like to execute these with the help of the IEEE Computer Society.