San José-Dublin Postgraduate Exchange Scholarship
The Lord Mayor of Dublin has announced that the US-based San José-Dublin Sister City Program is launching a new scholarship and exchange program, after several years in the planning, which will provide Irish students with work experience at San José technology companies, academic training at San José State University (SJSU) and Dublin City University (DCU), leading to an Industrial Masters of Science and Engineering degree.
This is the first Masters level scholarship exchange to be offered by a US-Irish sister city programme, and the first known scholarship of its kind among the Sister Cities International (SCI) network. Considering that 50% of all direct foreign investment (DFI) in Ireland comes from within 25 miles of San José, the exchange deepens existing strong economic ties while providing San José companies with access to Ireland's most promising engineering talent.
"This scholarship series, named after our founder Pat McMahon, will create a long-lasting and deeper relationship between San José and Dublin that continues throughout the year, beyond San José's annual Irish Week events," said Tim Quigley, President of the San José-Dublin Sister City Program. "The students who join the exchange program will come to represent the cultural, academic and economic linkages that exist between our two great cities."
Longstanding San José-Dublin Sister City Programme contributors make up the inaugural funding base for the scholarship. These contributors include Mary Ellen and Mike Fox Sr., Co-Founders of ME Fox and Company and the 2012 Spirit of Ireland Award recipients, who are the lead family and individual donors. They joined John Hannegan, 2008 Spirit of Ireland Award recipient and owner of C.B. Hannegan's in Los Gatos, Chris Greene, CEO of PM Greene Engineers, and many other Silicon Valley individual supporters.
Cypress, the first San José corporation partner to support this sister city programme innovative initiative, has funded the first matching half of this initial $30,000 scholarship.
"Cypress is pleased to contribute to this scholarship because we think it will make a lasting impact and begin a great tradition. All of my interactions with Irish engineers have shown that they're very talented, which is why Cypress created our Irish Design Center in Cork," said T.J. Rodgers, Founder and CEO of Cypress. "I'm very proud of the leadership of our CTO Cathal Phelan and Danny Ryan, our Director of Learning and Development, in making this scholarship happen."
Cannon was selected through a competitive application and interview process. The $30,000 scholarship includes a Fall 2012 semester at DCU, a Spring 2013 semester at SJSU with a part-time research internship at Cypress Semiconductors, a full-time Summer 2013 research internship at Cypress and a final semester of study at DCU during the Fall of 2013. It also covers all transportation costs to San José, plus housing at the SJSU International House and a living stipend.
Prof. Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said, "I am delighted that Dublin City University has played a key role in establishing the San José - Dublin Sister City Postgraduate Exchange Programme and proud that its first scholarship recipient is a DCU student. DCU strives to create an entrepreneurial environment for our students to empower them in shaping their own future and transforming their lives. This scholarship is an excellent example of international university-industry collaboration and a wonderful opportunity for Barry to experience the innovative environment of Silicon Valley while pursuing a DCU degree."
Mark Novak, Associate Vice President and Dean of International and Extended Studies at SJSU, stated, "We are thrilled to be a part of creating this international collaboration and are looking forward to welcoming Barry, who is a stellar first recipient of this scholarship, when he arrives in San José."
At Cypress, Cannon will join a team of engineers and scientists from San José and the Ukraine working in the area of Capacitive Sensor Development. The research will involve developing new touch screen sensor patterns and stackups to improve the performance of the cutting edge technology behind capacitive touch screens. The student will also take two classes at SJSU during that Spring semester.
In addition to his advanced mathematics and applied physics academic accomplishments, Cannon is an accomplished actor and a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, bass guitar, piano and singing in several bands. This combination of technical and artistic talents makes Cannon a great fit with San José's creative class, according to program organizers.
"I'm honored by the opportunity to study at San José State University and work with Cypress in San José, which is as far as I'm concerned the epicenter of advancement in applied physics and mathematics," said Cannon.
The Irish Consulate in San Francisco, during Consulate General Gerry Staunton's tenure, has played a valuable role in creating this scholarship and other initiatives by helping to connect many of the people who originated the plan. The Consulate will also be important to the program's expansion.
In 2015, the program will broaden to a reciprocal exchange of two students from San José and two students from Dublin each year. In 2016, the San José-Dublin Sister City Program aims to expand the scholarship beyond DCU and SJSU to include other Irish and Silicon Valley universities.
About the San José-Dublin Sister City Program
The mission of the San José - Dublin Sister City Program is to promote community, economic development, academic, artistic and cultural, and sporting people to people linkage and ties between San Jose and Dublin as well as Silicon Valley. The program includes Irish Week, Education, Sporting, Community Outreach, the Arts and Business. For more information visit www.sanjosedublin.org.