CLEMSON — Anna Schleifer of Clemson University was hoping for a $5,000 scholarship when she sent her application to an Atlanta-based engineering society that has awarded more than $1.5 million to students over 27 years.
She didn’t get the scholarship she wanted.
Instead, the mechanical engineering major won $10,000, the largest amount offered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
“It’s pretty incredible,” Schleifer said. “You don’t realize the weight that’s on your shoulders. Getting that email was a huge relief.”
Schleifer, a 2010 graduate of Daniel High, said she expects to graduate from Clemson in May 2016 with no debt, thanks in part to ASHRAE’s Willis H. Carrier Scholarship.
The Carrier Corp. established the scholarship in memory of its founder, who installed the world’s first scientifically designed air-conditioning system.
Ginger Scoggins, the ASHRAE Region IV director and regional chair, presented the scholarship to Schleifer on Wednesday in the Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Building at Clemson.
“Anna is an impressive young woman,” Scoggins said. “We’re excited that she is interested in our profession and that she already has some real-world experience. Anna is highly deserving of this award.”
Schleifer, who grew up in Clemson, also received the merit-based Palmetto Fellows scholarship with the enhancement for students in math- and science-related majors. She has lived at home to save money.
A three-semester co-op with Southland Industries also helped pay for college. As part of the co-op, Schleifer worked on designs for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium.
Congratulations on the award came from Ben Leppard, a Clemson alumnus and director-at-large for ASHRAE.
“We’re proud to award this scholarship to Anna,” he said. “Scholarships like this ensure that the pipeline from higher education to industry remains full of talent. Anna is an excellent example of that talent.”
When she started at Clemson, Schleifer majored in construction science and management. But while working an internship in Hilton Head, she found herself constantly asking, “Why is this built the way it is?”
Her quest for answers led her to mechanical engineering and ASHRAE’s student chapter at Clemson.
Schleifer said she is also passionate about her involvement with Lutheran Campus Ministry at Clemson, where she helps organize Wednesday night events and works with a group that helps women acclimate to college life.
Schleifer said that she is considering whether to go to graduate school or begin working in industry after graduation. Whatever she does, Schleifer said she wants to improve and design parts to make them more environmentally sustainable.
“I like the Earth the way it is, especially growing up here with the mountains and the beach,” she said. “I just find the world an incredibly beautiful place and I’d like to keep it like that.”
For more about ASHRAE and its scholarships, go to the Scholarships website.
This release provided by Clemson University.