After finding out he had won a prestigious $5,000 scholarship from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association this year, Central Michigan University student Tyler Wippel was one thing: Relieved.
“I was so relieved,” the Lansing senior said. “It’s such a big help for me.”
The AFCEA Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics scholarship is awarded to 50 undergraduate students from across the nation who are pursuing a career in secondary education of those subjects. The AFCEA looks for individuals who are going to invest in these subjects, while also supporting the armed forces.
In addition to providing award recipients with $5,000 in scholarship money, the AFCEA awards the future educators with $1,000 each year for the first three years of their teaching career. The money is to be used for technology expenses in the classroom.
Wippel is in his final year at CMU with a major in mathematics for secondary education. Teaching is a career he has always thought about pursuing.
“I always used to sit in class and ask myself what I would do differently if I was the teacher,” Wippel said. “Science and math are important to me, but teaching is more important.”
Wippel is not waiting for graduation to begin teaching. The scholarship winner is currently involved in a variety of volunteer organizations devoted to helping students.
Through one of his volunteer endeavors, Wippel works with high school students who are at risk of dropping out. His main goal is to encourage these students to continue on with their studies.
“I don’t want to see these kids drop out,” Wippel said. “I want to advocate for them.”
Wippel enjoys the volunteer work he does.
He said it makes him feel good knowing he is working toward a cause he is passionate about.
“I don’t know how to explain the feeling, but it’s good for me and it’s good for whatever cause I’m helping,” Wippel said about his volunteer work. “It makes me happy, it helps me develop skills, and it also helps the cause.”
Wippel was honored for the STEM scholarship on Wednesday by the College of Education and Human Services in the Voightman Seminar Room of the Education Building. His parents, who attended the ceremony, said they were elated for their son’s accomplishment.
“I’m very excited for him,” said Lori Wippel, mother of the scholarship winner. “I’m always proud.”
Wippel has maintained a humble and thankful attitude for the scholarship. He said his family even congratulated him and told him he deserved the award.
“I don’t know what the criteria is for ‘deserve’ or ‘not deserve’,” Wippel said. “But it definitely feels good to be recognized.”