The IFMA Foundation Scholarship

by Just Juan
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“Even individual success is a team effort” – Mr. Aldo

Last week, I was in Denver for the 2015 IFMA World Workplace Facility Conference & Expo. It was my 1st time attending my professional association’s premier annual event. I had a very good reason to attend: I was being honored as an IFMA Foundation Scholarship recipient.

This all started back in April, when I applied for the IFMA Foundation Scholarship. At the time, I was in the final weeks of the Spring 2015 semester at RIT and looking ahead to the Summer 2015 term and, more importantly, the Fall 2015 semester…which I’m in now. Although the VA was paying for the private school tuition at RIT via the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program, I learned from a classmate in the Facility Management MS program that the research for the graduate project would probably be somewhat of an out-of-pocket cost. I make really good money at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but who doesn’t want free money? So I applied.

On August 27th, as I was eating in the Granville Island Public Market during the Vancouver trip, I checked my emails and saw that I received one from the IFMA Foundation. They informed me that I had been selected to receive one of the 2015 IFMA Foundation Scholarships. The Public Sector Council of IFMA was awarding me with the $1500 Public Sector Council Scholarship and it would be presented to me at IFMA World Workplace in Denver on the evening of October 8th.

As I alluded at the outset, I made the trip and it was a wonderful experience. World Workplace is basically Facility Fusion on steroids. Anyway, as a scholarship recipient, I had to go through the gamut…appearances and all. I attended a social gathering of the Public Sector Council on October 6th, followed by their annual business meeting the next morning. Being on that stage and hearing all of the great things they were saying about my profile as a scholarship recipient was kinda surreal. As the 1st winner of the scholarship from a Department of Defense agency, I hope that my being awarded the scholarship will go a long way to expanding the educational opportunities in military facility management. I also attended the IFMA Foundation Celebration, where I met all of the other recipients of the IFMA Foundation Scholarship. We played nice and gave thanks to all of the donors for blessing us with the awards. My cohort in this year’s class of recipients was very diverse. They were from all over the world. I met some great friends and had a lot of fun at that event.

On October 8th, in one of the foyer halls of the Denver Convention Center, I was awarded with the 2015 IFMA Foundation Scholarship sponsored by the Public Sector Council of IFMA. The award ended up being $2500, not the $1500 that was originally announced. I’m very thankful for the scholarship as I’ll be able to fund some of my research costs for this Graduate Project that I’m halfway through right now.

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