Meet the 2024 RESPEC STEM Scholarship Recipients

The RESPEC Foundation proudly announces the inaugural 2024 RESPEC STEM Scholarship recipients. The RESPEC STEM Scholarship program was launched in 2023 and awards $3,000 each to a maximum of five recipients studying engineering, science, or computer science at a 4-year college or university.

From an impressive pool of candidates, the Foundation selected five students whose contributions and visions for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) set them apart. Congratulations to the following recipients!

Arisa Chue
Arisa Chue is a senior majoring in computer science at Stanford University with a minor in education. She explores the intersection of linguistics and generative artificial intelligence (AI). Arisa interned at ScaleAI, working on automating video-image recognition algorithms for self-driving vehicles. She serves as a Senior Section Leader, helping teach Stanford’s introductory data structures and algorithms class. As the Outreach Chair/Vice President of Stanford’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE), she directs programs promoting engineering to K-12 students in the local community.


Jesiah Wight
Jesiah Wight is a senior civil engineering student at SD Mines who aspires to use his skills to provide strong infrastructure and efficient, reliable water resources. With expertise in water resources and infrastructure development, he hopes to improve disaster response and stable infrastructure in communities everywhere. Jesiah works part-time in RESPEC’s Water & Natural Resources team. After graduation, Jesiah wants to join RESPEC full time and work toward becoming a Professional Engineer.


Kaylee Updegraff
Kaylee Updegraff, a junior at SD Mines, is majoring in electrical engineering. She is originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is a first-generation college student. Kaylee is thankful for all her support and is excited to see how she can impact the electrical engineering industry.


Linus Uy
Linus Uy is a rising junior at SD Mines and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in environmental engineering. Linus is the founder and president of Chi Sigma Pi, a Christian professional student organization. He is also a peer mentor and a math tutor. Linus is grateful for his parents and siblings, with whom he lives in the Pacific Northwest.


Landen Matkins
Landen Matkins grew up in Rapid City and graduated from Stevens High School with a 4.0 GPA. He enjoys the outdoors—skiing, camping, hunting, and fishing are just a few of his activities. He plans to attend South Dakota State University this fall, majoring in electrical engineering and running sprints on their track team.

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