What the ComEd Scholarship Will Mean for Two Engineering Students



By Simon Morrow

Two Illinois Institute of Technology engineering students were selected for the 2021 ComEd Scholars class, which covers tuition expenses not already covered by financial aid as well as additional support and resources such as housing allowances, mentorship, and the opportunity to interview for internships at ComEd and its parent company, Exelon.  

Eduardo Calix (EE/M.S. CE 3rd Year) says being selected as a ComEd Scholar has brought him peace of mind that finances will not be an issue and, as a newlywed, he’s excited to have more time to spend with his wife, who is also a college student.  

“At times, it’s very hard to manage my school life, personal life, and professional life,” says Calix. “This scholarship pushes me to do more for it than I would have done before.”

Calix has been working as a student assistant in Illinois Tech’s Office of Technology Services, and in fall 2021 he is also working as a teaching assistant in an introductory electrical and computer engineering course. 

To destress from the challenges of his coursework, Calix takes music history courses at VanderCook College of Music as well as cello lessons.

Calix is originally from Honduras but has lived in Chicago for more than four years. As a graduate of the South Side’s Victoria Soto High, Calix was excited to find Illinois Tech would offer him a premier engineering program nearby.

Josh Coburn (ME 2nd Year), who was also selected as a ComEd Scholar, attended Lane Tech College Prep in the Chicago neighborhood of North Center.

There he had the opportunity to take a Maker’s Lab class through which he worked on projects, such as working with 3D printers or figuring out how to laser cut a cylindrical bottle, which helped him decide to pursue engineering.   

Coburn says he has found Illinois Tech’s campus very accommodating to his needs as a commuter student, but he plans to eventually live on campus now that ComEd will pay for his housing.  

“I think it will let me focus more on my schoolwork and less on the financial portion of trying to graduate with a difficult degree,” says Coburn.

In his free time, Coburn has been playing ping-pong with a group of students who are trying to re-start the university’s official team. 

“For the third year in a row, ComEd continues to expand educational access and opportunities for students eager to impact the future and advance technology for all,” says Raj Echambadi, president of Illinois Tech. “ComEd’s substantial commitment will allow these Illinois Tech scholars to serve as purpose-driven innovators and, ultimately, the tech leaders of the future.”

Since 2019 the ComEd Scholars program has aimed to promote equity in science and engineer-related higher education and to develop a workforce that reflects the diverse communities that ComEd serves.

“ComEd is proud to help deserving students from underserved communities achieve their higher education goals,” says Michelle Blaise (ME ’82), ComEd’s senior vice president of technical services and an Illinois Tech mechanical engineering alumna. “The past year has been incredibly difficult. We hope that our support can enable these wonderful students and leaders of the future to receive the education necessary to create innovative change in their fields and inspire their communities and future generations to come.”

“The ComEd Scholars is a fantastic financial and mentorship program that supplements the type of culture of philanthropy we are fostering here at Illinois Tech,” says Ernie Iseminger, vice president of advancement for Illinois Tech. “Congratulations to all of this year’s scholarship recipients.”

Photo: [From left] Eduardo Calix and Josh Coburn (provided photos)