FSSA Educational Foundation 2017-2018 Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the Foundation provides financial support to outstanding young students connected with the fire protection industry to help them meet their ever-rising cost of a college education.  The FSSA Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the following recipients of scholarships for 2017 - 2018:

  • $5,000 Scholarship in the name of Chuck Hooper - Selena Chin, University of Maryland, College Park
  • $5,000 Scholarship in the name of Jim Boyer - Madison West, University of Maryland, College Park
  • $3,000 Scholarship in the name of Bernie Bischoff - Jonathan Shelley, Oklahoma State University
  • $3,000 Scholarship - William Calcagno, University of Maryland, College Park
  • $2,000 Scholarship - Sopheaktra Chhim, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • $2,000 Scholarship - Matthew McDonald, Seneca College

More about our Winners . . .

$5,000 Scholarship in the name of Chuck Hooper
Selena Chin, University of Maryland, College Park

Selena Chin is in her 5th year in the fire protection engineering program at the University of Maryland College Park. She received her bachelor’s degree in fire protection engineering this past May and hopes to receive her master’s degree by fall or winter of 2018. Selena is the former president of Salamander Honorary Society, UMD’s fire protection honor society, and an active member of UMD’s SFPE student chapter. During her undergraduate career, Selena interned at Northrop Grumman and Burns & McDonnell, studied abroad, participated in research on smoke detectors and nozzle reaction forces, and served as an undergraduate teaching fellow for fire protection classes. Her research with firefighter nozzle reaction forces led her to being published in Fire Technology as well as presenting at the 10th National Combustion Meeting. Her extracurricular involvements include playing intramural soccer, obstacle course racing, and tutoring local elementary school kids.

$5,000 Scholarship in the name of Jim Boyer
Madison West, University of Maryland, College Park

Madison West completed her freshman year as a fire protection engineering major in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. She always knew that she wanted to be an engineer but it wasn’t until she attended Maryland and discovered her passion for fire protection. Madison is also a part of the Design Cultures and Creativity Honors Program and for her DCC capstone project she will be building a hydrogen powered bicycle.  This past year Madison joined FLEXUS, a program for female engineers, as well as the SFPE student chapter at UMD. This past spring and summer she held an internship with SFPE and assisted in updating the Human Behavior Guide, SFPE Handbook, and created a procedures guide to get ANSI accreditation.  After graduation, Madison plans to attend graduate school and get her P.E.

$3,000 Scholarship
William Calcagno, University of Maryland, College Park

Will Calcagno, of Silver Spring, Maryland, is an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park, majoring in Fire Protection Engineering at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Will is also in the Honors College at the University of Maryland. In his spare time, he enjoys automotive racing, reading, and playing various board games.  As an Eagle Scout, he enjoys helping his boy scout troop as a merit badge counselor for the Fire Safety and Chess merit badges. His future plans include graduate school and a rewarding career in the research and development area of fire protection engineering.

$2,000 Scholarship
Sopheaktra Chhim, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Sopheaktra is from Cambodia and graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering in May 2016. He started his Master of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) while a junior at the same institution. Sopheaktra’s involvement in fire protection engineering industry started when he had a summer internship after his junior year with WSP in Dubai, UAE as a Fire & Life Safety Intern. While interning there, he worked in over a dozen projects ranging from small residential buildings, schools, hotels, skyscrapers to manmade islands and included some of the most iconic developments in the world. Being exposed to such high-profile projects allowed Sopheaktra to understand the dynamics and levels of complexity in terms of coordination as well as the focus on life safety and fire protection. He believed this internship helped him discovered his passion in Fire & Life Safety and the Fire Protection industry. After his senior year, Sopheaktra was offered a full-time position to work at WSP again in Dubai, which he gladly accepted. Currently, he is working full time while studying his master’s in Fire Protection Engineering online.

$2,000 Scholarship
Matthew McDonald, Seneca College

Matthew McDonald is in his third year at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario. During his time in the program, he has been involved with many clubs and associations. He joined the SMILE association and was asked to be the Lead Mentor of his campus. As Lead Mentor, Matthew was responsible for organizing multiple events to help new students become acquainted with campus life. He is also a member of the Fire Protection Student Association.  This association assists students with networking with others in the industry and helps connect the knowledge learned in class to see how it is applied in the industry. Matthew has served in several leadership roles including Treasurer and Vice President of Education.  This past summer, he completed an internship with Homestead Land Holdings Limited as a Life Safety Specialist. During his time with Homestead, he performed weekly, monthly and semi-annual inspections of high rise residential buildings in conformance with the Ontario Fire Code. Matthew was involved with training all site staff regarding daily duties, operation of equipment and applicable site staff responsibilities to ensure proper knowledge and safety of fire protection. This is Matthew’s last year in the fire protection program and he is very excited to start his career and expand his knowledge of fire protection.