SUNY New Paltz announces the establishment of the Robert Kyncl ’95 and Luz Avila Kyncl ’96 STEM Scholarship Fund, a new award designed to offset tuition costs for students, especially women and minority students, entering New Paltz to study Computer Science or Computer Engineering.
The award is made possible thanks to a generous gift from its namesakes, alumni Robert and Luz Avila Kyncl, who have observed first-hand the dearth of computer scientists and engineers from underrepresented backgrounds in technology fields.
“STEM education today provides life-altering career opportunities,” said Robert Kyncl, who currently serves as chief business officer at YouTube. “It is important that these opportunities are afforded to students of all walks of life. Luz and I are excited to partner with the School of Science and Engineering to encourage women and all underrepresented groups to consider computer science degrees.”
Robert Kyncl earned his degree in International Relations from SUNY New Paltz. He is the author of “Streampunks: YouTube and the Rebels Remaking Media” and was the SUNY New Paltz Distinguished Speaker for the spring 2016 semester.
Luz Avila Kyncl is a Psychology alumna, nutritionist, author of the new book “Liberate Yourself: Your past is not your prison,” and proprietor of Salud con Luz, whose mission is to educate and empower individuals and families to improve their health through changes in their diet and lifestyle. She too has spoken on campus with New Paltz students, most recently as a keynote speaker at the 2016 Educational Opportunity Program Conference.
The Kyncls’ gift also establishes the Robert Kyncl ’95 and Luz Avila Kyncl ’96 STEM Experiential Learning Fund, which will create once-in-a-lifetime experiential learning opportunities for students in computer science and computer engineering, including undergraduate research, study abroad and industry internships.
“We’re very grateful to the Kyncls for providing support for local students to pursue majors that are in such high demand in the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science & Engineering. “Their gift also shows that the Kyncls recognize the value of what the New Paltz School of Science and Engineering offers: a strong technical education with the liberal arts values that employers seek.”
All prospective New Paltz students in computer science and engineering are welcome to apply for the Kyncl STEM Scholarship. To be considered, applicants must apply to SUNY New Paltz and the fill out the 2018 Application for Kyncl Scholarship form online.
First priority will be given to students from groups underrepresented in computer science and engineering. Priority will also be given to transfer students from regional community colleges.