October 1, 2015

Final date for entries; must be submitted by midnight CST

October 8, 2015

National and section winners announced

October 23rd - 25th, 2016

SWE 2016 National Conference Nashville, TN

November 2015

Awards presented to winners, sections and regions.

Submit Your Essay

The Stilettos to Steel Toes Scholarship Essay Contest

The 2016 contest has ended

Congratulations to this year's winner!

Gabriella Marinescu
Ohio State University
Class of 2015

How will you blaze your own trail?

A dentist wrestles with a pelican while a fish thrashes atop a girl’s head. This impossibly, hilarious event takes place in the animated film, Finding Nemo, brilliantly inducing laughter from doe-eyed youth to grumpy fathers, who happened to be dragged to the theater that day. I remember telling my mom, “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” “You want to be a dentist?” She asked. “No,” I replied, “I want to make people laugh.”
I’ve grown up with the belief that my toys came alive while I was at school, monsters cracked jokes in my closet while I slept, and rats prepared my meal at a fancy restaurant. You’d think I've watched too many children’s films, and you’d be right. The light and joy that animation emits is nothing short of magic. The most creative and inspirational minds in animation bring inanimate objects to life for others to laugh along with, aspire to be more alike, and escape from reality. After looking back and forth from my worn sketchbooks to my trusty sidekick of a laptop, I knew I could mix my love for art and science to become one of those people.
People think those studying computer science and engineering are nerdy guys who sit behind a computer screen all day writing code. However, I know the nontraditional path I want to pursue goes beyond the scopes of a common coding career. I want to use my knowledge to be one of the few nerdy women to create and design computer animation tools to bring the impossible to life; creating happiness for others to enjoy.
I know I’ll have chosen the right path when I’m sitting in the back of a theater listening to children laughing loudly at the project I helped bring to life and the stress of a long day erases from an adult’s face to form a smile. I’ll look down at my untied shoes, which caused me to stumble, but challenged me to persevere in the direction I believed in, despite others’ doubts. Then I’ll lace up my imagination filled, computer animator shoes, and I’ll keep moving forward.

Bibliography:
Finding Nemo. Dir. Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich. Perf. Albrert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould. Pixar Animation Studios, 2003. Film.

 

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