IEEE Life Member Graduate Study Fellowship
Awarded to International Engineering Student
Ashanthi Maxworth, Sri Lanka
University of Colorado Denver PhD student, Ashanthi Maxworth, student has been awarded the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Life Member Graduate Study Fellowship in Electrical Engineering, which carries a $10,000 per year stipend paid. Maxworth completed her BS at the University of Moratuwa, which is the top technical university in Sri Lanka.
(IEEE is a professional organization that creates an environment where members collaborate on world‐changing technologies – from computing and sustainable energy systems, to aerospace, communications, robotics, healthcare, and more.)
Why did you want to enroll in the University of Colorado Denver?
I was really interested in the research carried out by Professor Golkowski, who is a well-known active researcher in the field of Ionospheric research. The second reason was that the University of Colorado Denver welcomes international students. While I was living in Sri Lanka, I heard many good things about Colorado and Denver.
What advantages are you finding in receiving an education in an urban American environment?
In an urban environment, it is really easy to proceed with the day-to-day activities. The access to grocery stores, high quality public transportation and other advantages all help someone to settle quickly into the environment. I have met many friendly people in Denver, and the initial settlement was really easier than I thought. And the community is a mixture of people from all around the globe, therefore no one feels isolated.
Why do you think it’s important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?
People from different countries think and work in many different ways. Since we are moving on to the concept of “Global Village” it is very important to know how other people think. By having an understanding about other countries, one can think independently with an unbiased mind. It is very important to have a global education, and the U.S. is the best country for this, since one can find people from all over the globe in one country.
Describe your most memorable learning experience.
My most memorable learning experience was scoring the perfect score for the Advanced Electromagnetic Fields module exam 2. Apart from that presenting a poster at 19th RF Ionospheric Interaction Workshop in Arecibo Puerto Rico in April 2013, presenting at the APS Meeting at Denver in November 2013 are also memorable events.
While you have been earning your degree, what has been one of the biggest challenges and why?
At the very beginning of the semester, I was afraid to go to a common place, such as the computer lab, because I was worried that people will not be able to understand my Asian English accent (which, of course, had happened in a frozen yoghurt shop). But then I realized that although I am thinking about that as an issue, no one else does. Ten people might talk in ten different accents, therefore my fear faded away.
In what ways can we help you to succeed while you’re at the University of Colorado Denver?
International Student and Scholar Services helped me in a lot of ways since the first day I came here. The international student orientation, which is held at the beginning of the semester, was extremely helpful. The volunteering events and the information about the Study Colorado Conference were also very helpful.
What cultural events and recreation do you enjoy in Denver and in Colorado?
I love the culture on Denver’s interesting shopping and dining area on the 16th Street mall. I enjoyed all of the holiday parades take place in Denver.
What do your friends and family think about your studying in America—do you think they are proud of your accomplishments?
My family and friends are really proud of my achievements. Getting an opportunity with funding in a university in the U.S. is considered extremely valuable in my home country and all over the world. Especially since the U.S. is more recognized than any other country for its graduate studies.
What advice would you give to other international students who are considering studies at the University of Colorado Denver and in America?
During your stay here, formally or informally, you represent your home country. Therefore, maintain a good attitude and an honorable behavior. Make sure always you do your best. Good luck!