News, Newsletter

AVIXA Foundation Reveals 2020 Scholarship Recipients


The AVIXA Foundation, charitable arm of AVIXA, announced the recipients of its three 2020 scholarships. Esmeralda Monroig, recent graduate of Lincoln Technical Institute, has been awarded the Mosaic Scholarship. Iris Douka, a student at New York City College of Technology, is the recipient of the elAVate Scholarship. Adam Waldmiller, student at Rochester Institute of Technology, has been awarded the Michael Vergauwen Scholarship. Each winner is awarded $2,500.

“A big congratulations to the 2020 winners,” Joseph Valerio, Program Director of the AVIXA Foundation, said. “We are incredibly impressed by all the applications we received this year. So many young people are starting to eye a career in the AV industry. The Foundation’s sole mission is to help build our future AV workforce, and it’s exciting to see more and more students choosing a path into our industry.”

New this year, the Mosaic Scholarship was conceived by AVIXA’s Diversity Council in support of further inclusivity within the global AV industry. Furthermore, it seeks to shine a light on young adults whose experience, background and thinking will positively influence the future of the AV community. Recipient Esmeralda Monroig earned her Electronic System Technician degree from Lincoln Technical Institute in May of this year. Her area of study focused on computer programming, schematics and AV installation. While in school, she worked 12-hour night shifts at her job and maintained a 3.89 grade point average.

Also new to the Foundation’s program is the elAVate Scholarship, supporting the growth of women and gender equality in the AV industry. This year’s winner, Iris Douka, is a student at New York City College of Technology, majoring in entertainment technology with areas of study focusing on lighting and show control. She recently began an internship at New York Live Arts under prominent lighting designer Lauren Libretti, house designer for the choreographic residence of Bill T. Jones. Douka’s internship is currently suspended due to COVID-19, but she is excited to continue when the venue reopens.

The Michael Vergauwen Scholarship honors the legacy of the late Michael Vergauwen, former COO of AVI Systems and long-time AVIXA board member. This year’s recipient, Adam Waldmiller, is majoring in computer engineering technology with a minor in audio engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). His interest in a career as an AV professional grew quickly after landing a job with the RIT Classroom Support team, which maintains the many AV systems in learning spaces across campus. He then joined the school’s Production Services team and began pursuing AV certifications, first earning the Dante audio networking certification. Next, he plans to obtain AVIXA’s Certified Technologist Specialist (CTS) accreditation.

To learn more about the AVIXA Foundation’s scholarship program, visit

For more news from Sound & Communications, click here.

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend