New Orleans, LA

University of New Orleans computer science students receive inaugural Hosch Scholarship

Curtis Macken

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NEW ORLEANS, LA — Two University of New Orleans computer science students, Jaiya Bass and Roy Perez, received a $6,000 Hosch Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year. Bass and Perez are the first recipients of the scholarship.

Bass is a sophomore, and Perez is a senior year student. Both were from New Orleans, but Perez's family relocated to Florida after Hurricane Katrina. Bass and Perez will receive mentoring from a member of Google's software development team in addition to the monetary award.

Frederick Hosch is one of the original faculty members who founded the computer science department at UNO. Hosch joined in 1972 and served as the computer science department chair from 1982 to 1985 and from 1990 to 1994. He was recognized as a source of knowledge for students and fellow faculty and staff until his retirement in 2006.

The scholarship aims to increase diversity in the computer science field. According to the scholarship committee, there is only 6.9 percent Hispanic or Latino, 3.1 percent Black American and 0.1 percent Pacific Islander or Native American of all Americans earning degrees in computer science. Meanwhile, women represent half of the U.S. population yet make up less than 22 percent of people earning a computer science degree.

The technology and information industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in New Orleans. The Department of Computer Science at UNO maintains partnerships with local and regional companies to mentor and share professional knowledge and experience with the students. Hosch scholarship seeks to continue offering awards to two students from underrepresented backgrounds majoring in computer science each year.

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