What Are They Doing Now?
COTY Scholarship Recipient – Class of 2010
After graduating Stamford High, Jyotsna (known as JoJo by most) attended UCONN, where she studied Mechanical Engineering. Her undergraduate career included internships at Sikorsky (two years working on helicopters) and Draper Laboratory (working on a space plane).
After UCONN, JoJo worked for General Dynamics Mission Systems. Her work involved mechanical integration of communications equipment on Humvees and other ground vehicles, and packaging delicate equipment, such as antennas to create bandwidth for responders to communicate in remote areas, military zones, etc. She then became a lead mechanical engineer overseeing a team working on an underwater robot at Bluefin Robotics. Following Bluefin, JoJo joined a startup in Boston called Humatics as a Field Applications Engineer. Now working at Boston Dynamics, JoJo loves her job at this high-tech company with down-to-earth colleagues who are from diverse of perspectives and backgrounds that help figure out things you would not have thought possible.
JoJo said that the COTY scholarship helped her to go to college without student loan debt. She worked hard throughout her college career in various jobs to supplement her scholarship. During the academic year, JoJo worked 20-30 hours/week in admissions, as well as a resident advisor, engineering teacher assistant, and an engineering outreach program teaching engineering concepts to young children.
In addition to working and studying at UCONN, JoJo volunteered. She was a member of UCONN’s community service learning community, which took on very meaningful projects. She also volunteered on Friday nights at a shelter in Willimantic.
COTY Scholarship Recipient – Class of 2011
Rachel attended UCONN (like her sister JoJo), where she studied biomedical engineering and also learned how much she loved computer science. She went on to earn her Master’s in biomedical engineering, enrolling in as many computer science classes as she could along the way. After completing her Master’s in the United States, Rachel moved to Spain to study for a year, earning a dual degree that included doing research in Italy. She loved Spain and Italy so much she knew that she would ultimately want to get back to Europe.
After taking a break, Rachel started as a system integration engineer at ASML, a global leader in the semiconductor industry, at its Wilton location. Two years later, she moved to the company’s headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rachel said that her COTY scholarship allowed her to get a good education and to finish without any student loan debt, which many of her peers are still struggling to pay off. This freedom gave her a head start that has enabled her to be financially independent.
Rachel’s work visa does not allow her to do traditional volunteer work, so she volunteers to bring comedy events and other activities to her colleagues. In her spare time, she connects local dog lovers with rescue dogs.
COTY Scholarship Recipient – Class of 2013
Dawn broke rank with her sisters JoJo and Rachel, and attended Elon College in North Carolina. As she said, “Education is different everywhere, and it is also expensive everywhere. While my sisters always paved great paths that I often followed, I was ready to embark on a fully independent experience of my own and was able to choose Elon. I knew I wanted to pursue a field in STEM, but was equally keen on honing my leadership skills and being a connector of ideas and people.” At Elon, Dawn studied computer science, minoring in leadership and business.
Dawn enhanced her college experience with a semester abroad in London and a month of service-learning in South Africa, and through a variety of internships at the law firm of Ackerly & Ward, Nestlé in Stamford, Voyage Control (a startup in London), and Fidelity in North Carolina. She also participated in many activities, including the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow Program to learn about different styles, philosophies, and skills in becoming an effective and intentional leader.
After graduation, Dawn moved to Dallas, Texas, to work for Call Box, initially as a software developer and then as a senior product manager. She then took a break from work to “reconnect with herself” and was reminded that philanthropy fills her soul. That time off led Dawn to go on to pursue a goal of aligning her values more with her day job. In October 2021, she began working for Resilia, a for-profit company with a mission to strengthen nonprofits through technology, coaching, and capacity-building support.
Dawn now works remotely from Hoboken, New Jersey, a place she finds environmentally focused and walkable, and she loves the beautiful views of the water and NYC skyline. Even with her rewarding work at Resilia, Dawn can’t volunteer enough. She’s passionate about the environment and works with Hoboken’s Fund for a Better Waterfront to support its mission to improve public access to the waterfront. She also cooks meals for the unhoused at the Hoboken Shelter and participates in environmental clean-ups led by the Hoboken Green Team and Plastic Wave Project, nonprofits that respectively drive sustainability projects in New Jersey and educate about the impacts of plastics on our oceans and coastlines.