Robert Morris recently learned that he is among eight college students nationwide to receive a coveted $10,000 Google Scholarship that will help him get through his senior year at Delaware State University.
The Google Scholarship is for military veterans who are pursuing a computer science degree. Morris served in the U.S. Army from 2003 to 2007, including time spent in a fuel tank unit hauling gasoline across the roads of that country from 2004 to 2005.
Upon his return to the U.S. and the completion of his Army enlistment, he had to deal with the Iraqi War-related post-traumatic stress issues.
While living in Florida, he met his future wife, Amy, who he said helped him with his post traumatic stress disorder. The couple later had to go through the adversity of their first two infants not surviving their births; they later had a son, Roman, now age four.
Their son was born premature and eventually had kidney failure. Roman currently has to go through dialysis.
After Robert and Amy Morris became a couple in Florida, he held off his higher education aspiration so he could work while she went to school to earn a degree in nursing. Since the couple moved to Delaware to be near her Cheswold-area parents, Amy has reciprocated by working while Robert worked toward a computer and information science degree at DSU.
Because Amy is preparing to help her son by donating one of her kidneys, she will have to take time off from working.
“Because I only had four years in the Army, the military only pays 60 percent of my tuition costs, and they only do that if I am going to school full-time,” he said. “This scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Robert said Gary Holness, associate professor of computer science, found out about the scholarship a few days before the application deadline.
“I had three days to apply, which included writing an essay on why I have chosen to pursue a career in computer science,” Robert said. “The Department of Computer and Information Sciences does a good job giving everyone any opportunity they can find.”
He added that strong recommendation letters from the Department of Computer and Information Science’s Tomasz Smolinski, associate professor, and Marwan Rasamny, chair, augmented his application.
Robert said computer science is a good pursuit for him.
“Adversities in life have given me skills at problem solving,” Robert said. “I like that computer science is an ever-changing field, and I believe it gives me a chance to bring solutions to the rest of the world through computer science.”