Science Hill senior will use scholarship to pursue studies in computer engineering | News

A member of Science Hill’s robotics team, senior Carmen Palileo wants to put the programming skills she learned in high school to good use.

And a scholarship she recently received through the Ned McWherter Fellowship Program should help her do just that.

Named after the 46th Governor of Tennessee, the award provides “academicly superior” high school seniors with $6,000 per school year to attend the University of Tennessee.

To be eligible, students must receive a minimum score of 29 on their ACT (or equivalent score on the SAT) and have an unweighted GPA of 3.5.

The Johnson City Press recently asked Palileo about the scholarship, his time at Science Hill, and his future plans.

How did you feel receiving the Ned McWherter Scholarship and how will it help you in your future education?

I felt so honored and grateful to have been selected for this scholarship! This year has been quite stressful, but reading this email has made my day.

One of my goals is to graduate from college debt free, and this brings me much closer to that goal.

Have you decided where you will attend college? If yes, where and why this school?

I will be attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Last year, I attended the Governor’s School for Sciences and Engineering, where I took classes for a month and met several current students and professors.

I know that some of my friends have chosen UTK or are already participating in it, so I can’t wait to see them again on a campus I already know.

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Also, I want to be a mentor for Topper Robotics after I graduate, and being a short drive away makes that possible for me.

Have you decided what subject you are going to specialize in and how does it fit your interests?

I will be majoring in computer engineering. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about programming in high school.

Although I love writing code, computer engineering involves the hardware aspect of embedded systems for several pressing applications.

This includes everything from autonomous robotics for search and rescue missions to cybersecurity for power grids. Personally, I am currently interested in underwater robotics, but I am open to any new experience.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Science Hill?

I love being part of Topper Robotics the most. Each season pushes me to develop my technical skills, but it’s not just robots.

Robotics has given me the opportunity to meet amazing students and mentors, to volunteer, and to learn the value of dedication and hard work.

Without them, I wouldn’t be here today. I am so proud of all of our team members. It’s our tenth anniversary and I look forward to the future growth of the team.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

With engineering, work and higher education are common paths, but I don’t have any specific plans yet. I prefer to live in the moment.

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