• Col. Kathy Swacina, USA (Ret.) (c), receives the 2019 Women’s Appreciation Award from DeEtte Gray, AFCEA chairwoman of the board, and Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), AFCEA president and CEO.
     Col. Kathy Swacina, USA (Ret.) (c), receives the 2019 Women’s Appreciation Award from DeEtte Gray, AFCEA chairwoman of the board, and Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), AFCEA president and CEO.

AFCEA Receives $15,000 Scholarship Endowment for Women in STEM

April 1, 2019

Col. Kathy Swacina, USA (Ret.), and her husband Lt. Col. Dan Swacina, USA (Ret.), have generously donated $15,000 to endow a new scholarship for female students in Georgia who are majoring in STEM.

The Col. Kathleen Swacina Scholarship will be awarded to one deserving female student each year in the amount of $1,000. The program will be open to students majoring in STEM subjects and enrolled full-time as an undergraduate at a college or university in the state of Georgia. Students may attend a community college so long as they intend to transfer to a four-year institution and complete their bachelor’s.

Currently president of the Atlanta Chapter, Col. Swacina is a Life Member of AFCEA and has received multiple awards, including the Medal of Merit, Meritorious Service Award and the Women’s Appreciation Award.

“Through the years, AFCEA has been a place where I have made many friends and business contacts. It’s also given me an opportunity to meet people who helped me grow and succeed both in my career while in the Army, and after I retired and began my new career,” she said.

Overcoming a learning disability, she earned a master’s degree in information technology management in 1997 and graduated with a master’s in military strategy from the Army War College Fellowship for Acquisition and Information Technology in 2002. She is a “Plank Holder” for the First Reserve Joint Warfare School and a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University Chief Information Officer School and program management program. After retiring from a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army, she continues to work in information technology in support of national defense.

“AFCEA’s emphasis on STEM education and support of our local community schools was one of the things that first attracted me to join AFCEA,” Col. Swacina said. “My husband has always been very supportive of my career and involvement in voluntary professional organizations. When he learned that I had been selected by the Women in AFCEA to receive their Appreciation Award, he came up with the idea of establishing an endowed scholarship as a lasting legacy of our support for what AFCEA has meant to me, young women in STEM and an opportunity to provide service in efforts that are bigger than myself in order to make a difference.”

Applicants must be either a member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or the descendant of an AFCEA member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. The awardee and her family will be honored at an Atlanta Chapter function in the spring. Applications should be submitted through the AFCEA Educational Foundation’s online form.

For more information on the Col. Kathleen Swacina Scholarship, visit scholarships.afcea.org. For information about sponsoring or endowing a scholarship with the AFCEA Educational Foundation, contact Amanda Goehring, educational programs manager, at edfoundation@afcea.org.

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