Community Foundation Awards B+B SmartWorx Scholarships

The B+B SmartWorx Scholarships for the Internet of Things (IoT) were recently awarded by the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation to Joey Thomas and Kirsten Sibbaluca.

The IoT Scholarship is available to two high-school graduating seniors who will pursue a career in Science, Technology or Engineering. The award is $1500 per scholarship and is granted to one male recipient and one female recipient in Starved Rock Country who are enrolled in a college or university for the coming school year.

“The B+B SmartWorx Scholarships are highly sought-after and always bring the most applicants of any of our scholarships,” said Pamela Beckett, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Our Scholarship Selection Committee evaluates the applicants without identifying information, so that their selections are not prejudicial. The Committee always has a tough time selecting the winners because of the number of highly qualified and simply brilliant students who apply.”

Joey Thomas

Joey Thomas of Mazon, is a 2019 graduate of Seneca High School and will attend the University of Illinois to pursue a degree in Systems Engineering and Design. Also, an entrepreneur, Joey created his own business at a young age and looks forward to perhaps owning and operating his own business in the years to come.

Kirsten Sibbaluca

Kirsten Sibbaluca will study biomedical engineering at The University of Iowa. Kirsten, from Dalzell, is a 2019 graduate of St. Bede Academy. She intends to study cellular engineering and is very interested in stem cell research.

For more than 30 years B+B SmartWorx has been a company that designs, engineers and manufactures network connectivity equipment for rugged and remote conditions. B+B SmartWorx products enable networks to adapt and evolve into more autonomous, smarter, responsive and decisive systems. Formerly B&B Electronics, B+B SmartWorx enables solutions that add new layers of sophistication to existing M2M data networks and provide dramatic new capabilities to improve a network’s efficiency and productivity. In 2016, B+B SmartWorx became part of the global Advantech family, and is now operating as B+B SmartWorx powered by Advantech with a primary location in Ottawa.

A reception for the scholarship recipients was held in early May at the B+B SmartWorx location in Ottawa. The recipients were joined by family members and the leadership staff of B+B SmartWorx. Pictured below are Kirsten Sibbaluca and Joey Thomas with Pamela Beckett of the SRCCF, and Rich Czekanski, (L) Director of Human Resources, and Mike Fahrion, (R) VP of IoT Technologies for B+B SmartWorx. On behalf of the SRCCF and B+B SmartWorx, congratulations to these most worthy scholarship recipients.


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Through the generosity of local donors who care deeply about the advanced education of local youth, the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation is honored and pleased to award eight scholarships in