Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon Announce the First Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship

Posted by bink on August 17 2006, 2:04 PM. Posted in Academia.

Initiative to assist women, minority graduate students preparing for entertainment technology careers.

The Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. and Carnegie Mellon University today announced the establishment of the Microsoft® Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship, a scholarship for graduate study at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon. The initiative seeks to reward the innovative work by minorities and women who are pursuing careers in entertainment technology as graphic artists, game designers and computer programmers.

“We are delighted and proud to provide talented women and minority students with this exciting opportunity to learn about digital entertainment at a world-class institution,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, which includes the Xbox 360™ system. “Microsoft remains a strong advocate of higher education. The Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship allows young adults to reach their potential by enabling them to further cultivate their artistic and technical talents.”

The Carnegie Mellon ETC offers the world’s only master of entertainment technology (MET) degree, a unique program that combines fine arts with computer science to enable students to learn the processes, resources and insight for storytelling and entertainment in a digital medium.

“Microsoft continues to demonstrate tangibly its commitment to diversity and education in ways that positively and directly affect students,” said Don Marinelli, executive producer of Carnegie Mellon’s ETC. “This Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship within the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center is a splendid example of Microsoft demonstrating its desire to make a top-quality education available and affordable to women and minority students. We are honored deeply to have been chosen for this program.”

A recent report published by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology shows that African-Americans account for 6.2 percent of individuals in information technology and engineering professions, with Latinos representing 5.3 percent of professionals in those same fields. Likewise, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women make up roughly 29 percent of information technology professionals.

“In the past year alone, ETC has significantly increased the number of women and minorities seeking the master of entertainment technology degree,” Marinelli said. “In the coming years we will continue to work to diversify our program, and this Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship is a great tool in helping us meet our goal.”

More information about the ETC at Carnegie Mellon and the Microsoft Entertainment and Technology Diversity Scholarship on the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center can be found at http://www.etc.cmu.edu.