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Windy City AOC Scholarship Program
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The Windy City AOC Scholarship Award Program

The Windy City Association of Old Crows (WC-AOC) provides scholarships to Chicago-area college students studying in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The scholarship is administered by the Windy City AOC Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information on the AOC, as well as the educational foundation, or on defense related technology, please visit or

These scholarships are intended to encourage and help Chicago-area collegiate students to pursue a career in Defense Technology, with scholarships made possible by contributions from friends of the Windy City Chapter.    The scholarship program originated in 1983, and has now provided over $340,000 in scholarship aid to 171 deserving students.  Scholarships are awarded every year.    Applications are accepted in September and October, and awards are presented in early March.


·         Student applicants must be a STEM major with a strong, demonstrated interest in Defense Technology.  US Citizenship is required. 

·         Student applicants must be enrolled for fall (at time of application) and spring (at time of scholarship award) at a Chicago-area college or university (“Chicago-area” strictly meaning within 140 miles of the O’Hare Airport), and must have completed a minimum of half of the credit hours required for graduation at the college level prior to application, with minimum 3.00 GPA.  Fall courses that are in progress at time of application do not apply to this minimum.  Typically, first and second year college students are not yet eligible, and can apply in the fall of the Junior year of college.  Part-time enrollment is acceptable, and the student may be enrolled in an undergraduate (Bachelors degree) or postgraduate (Masters, PhD) program.

Awards are not automatically renewed (for continuing students) – in other words, the same application process applies in the case of a former scholarship recipient.

Scholarship Application Instructions & Requirements (for the student):

Applications are accepted via e-mail (text based, unformatted) and must be complete and submitted ahead of the October 31 deadline.  Applications are to be sent to with the applicant name included in the subject line.  Please do not submit file attachments; use plain text.

Be certain to include all the following elements (and only the following elements) in the e-mailed application:

·         Name and contact information (email/phone/school and permanent addresses street/city/state/zip), college affiliation (must be in the Chicago area, within 140 miles of O’Hare, enrolled for fall and spring), and Citizenship (MUST be a US Citizen).

·         Years of college completed at time of application (minimum of an equivalent of two collegiate academic years completed; or in other words, having completed a minimum of half of the credit hours required for an undergraduate degree), expected graduation date, and GPA on a 4.0 scale.  (3.0 minimum GPA).  Include date of high school graduation with name and location of high school.

·         In 200 words or less, summarize pertinent major and minor academic areas, activities, organizational memberships, related hobbies, projects, work experience, special interests, and positions of leadership.  Emphasize military service, if applicable, and STEM-related activities.

·         In a 500 word or less essay, summarize your qualifications, and indicate why you are interested in the defense industry and what defense-related technologies are of interest to you.  Specifically address how your interests and education objectives will support future technical contributions.  The essay can also describe your inspirations and aspirations.

·         Provide the name and email address of two people recommending you for this scholarship.  The first must be a faculty sponsor (a STEM faculty member at the same institution where the applicant is enrolled).  The second can be a faculty member, work supervisor, or AOC member (in other words, the second person may or may not be affiliated with the institution where the applicant is enrolled, and may or may not be an educator).   Each is to provide a short (200 word max) endorsement via email (separately) to -- and the applicant must arrange for these to be submitted in advance of the October 31 deadline.  When the application is submitted, include the two email addresses on the cc: line.

Selection Process

Selection of the applicants is based on evaluation of the application materials.  The criteria is based on academic record (GPA, coursework), student activities and work experience, 500 word essay, strength of recommendations, and proximity to Chicago, all in the context of a strong, demonstrated interest in Defense Technology.

After applications are collected, a comparative evaluation of all applications is made by unbiased, independent educators not affiliated with the Educational Foundation nor the WC-AOC.  The applicants are rank ordered, and awards to the top-ranking applicants are then confirmed by the WC-AOC board.   No financial information is requested and financial need is not considered in the evaluation.  

Awardees are contacted in January to confirm acceptance of the scholarship and will be invited to the annual Windy City AOC banquet held annually in early March, in Arlington Heights, Illinois.   Scholarship awards are made personally at the banquet, or mailed to students who cannot attend.

Points of Contact

Windy City Scholarship Coordinator:  Contact the scholarship coordinator if questions arise - send an email to  [].  

Faculty contacts:   For the institutions noted below, questions can be directed to the following faculty points of contact, since they are familiar with the program: 

·         Bradley University: Dr. Brian Huggins, ECE Department []

·         Northwestern University: Wesley Burghardt, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Engineering []

·         Purdue University: Sally Luzader, Manager of Corporate Relations, Department of Computer Science []

·         University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign: Marie-Christine Brunet, PhD, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs []

·         University of Illinois, Chicago: James T. Muench, Acting Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, UIC College of Engineering []

Important notes for faculty members and others submitting endorsements on behalf of students: 

The endorsement is intended be very simple and brief (an email message to with no letterhead) but it must convey how you know and how you rate the candidate.  Max length of 200 words.  Endorsement statements are held confidential, never to be made public or viewed by the applicants.  Please cite “confidential” plus the applicant name in the subject line.  Please do not submit file attachments; use plain text. 


Scholarship Awardees

Scholarships Awarded March 2020

  •     William Belcher – Northwestern University, Ronald Langietti Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Andrew Fink - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Edward Adams Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Peter Hinderer - University of Illinois at Chicago, John Bartels Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Patrick McLaughlin – Lewis University, Dr. Gunter Dohler Memorial Scholarship ($2500)

Scholarships Awarded March 2019

  •     Alanis Nash, Bradley University, Edward Adams Memorial Scholarship ($3000)
  •     Michael Jang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), John Bartels Memorial Scholarship ($3000)
  •     William Belcher, Northwestern University, Dr. Gunter Dohler Memorial Scholarship ($3000)
  •     Benjamin Guo, UIUC, Robert Kranz Memorial Scholarship ($3000)
  •     Caleb Vail, University of Chicago, George Giacomino Memorial Scholarship ($3000)

Scholarships Awarded March 2018

  •     Alanis Nash, Bradley University, Edward Adams Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Alex Villafuerte, UIUC, John Bartels Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Brian Dina, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), Dr. Gunter Dohler Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Tony Kang, Purdue University, Jerry Dutka Honorary Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Michael Brady, UIUC, George Giacomino Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Samuel Chung, UIUC, Ronald Langietti Memorial Scholarship ($2500)

Scholarships Awarded March 2017

  •     Alexa Mathias, Northern Illinois University (NIU), George Giacomino Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Nicholas Lordis, UIC, Edward Adams Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Jeffrey Zhu, UIUC, John Bartels Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Monica Delgado, UIC, Jerry Dutka Honorary Scholarship ($2500)
  •     William Kelly, Bradley University, Ronald Langietti Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Ben Starcevich, NIU, Dr. Gunter Dohler Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Patrick Wasz, UIUC, Robert L. Kranz Memorial Scholarship ($2500)

Scholarships Awarded March 2016

  •     Kylie Broton, Purdue University, George Giacomino Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Nicholas Lordis, UIC, Edward Adams Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Stephan Kim, Northwestern University, John Bartels Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Anthony DeCarlo, NIU, Jerry Dutka Honorary Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Tyler Peterson, NIU, Robert L. Kranz Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Mark McKean, Bradley University, Gunter Dohler Memorial Scholarship ($2500)
  •     Brian Todd, UIUC, Ron Langietti Memorial Scholarship ($2500)


The scholarship region is indicated by the red circle in the diagram below

With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.