Meet the AVIXA Foundation Scholarship Recipients on This Video Interview With Gary Kayye

AVIXA Foundation

The AVIXA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (aka: AVIXA — aka: the InfoComm people), is pleased to announce the recipients of its three 2020 scholarships.

  • Esmeralda Monroig, a recent graduate of Lincoln Technical Institute, has been awarded the Mosaic Scholarship.
  • Iris Douka, a student at New York City College of Technology, is the elAVate Scholarship recipient.
  • Adam Waldmiller, student at Rochester Institute of Technology, has been awarded the Michael Vergauwen Scholarship.

Each winner is awarded $2,500.

Here’s a video interview that rAVe’s own Gary Kayye did with the three winners so you can get to know them (and, MAYBE hire them??).

“A big congratulations to the 2020 winners. We are incredibly impressed by all the applications we received this year. So many young people are starting to eye a career in the AV industry,” said Joseph Valerio, program director of the AVIXA Foundation. “The Foundation’s sole mission is to help build our future AV workforce, and it’s exciting to see more and more students choosing a path into our industry.”


New this year, the Mosaic Scholarship was conceived by AVIXA’s Diversity Council to support further inclusivity within the global AV industry. Furthermore, it seeks to shine a light on young adults whose experience, background and thinking will positively influence the AV community’s future. Recipient Esmeralda Monroig earned her Electronic System Technician degree from Lincoln Technical Institute in May of this year. Her area of study focused on computer programming, schematics, and AV installation. While in school, she worked 12-hour night shifts at her job and maintained a 3.89 grade point average.


Also new to the Foundation’s program is the elAVate Scholarship, supporting the growth of women and gender equality in the AV industry. This year’s winner, Iris Douka, is a student at New York City College of Technology, majoring in entertainment technology with areas of study focusing on lighting and show control. She recently began an internship at New York Live Arts under prominent lighting designer Lauren Libretti, house designer for Bill T. Jones’s choreographic residence. Douka’s internship is currently suspended due to COVID-19, but she is excited to continue when the venue reopens.


The Michael Vergauwen Scholarship honors the legacy of the late Michael Vergauwen, former COO of AVI Systems and long-time AVIXA board member. This year’s recipient, Adam Waldmiller, is majoring in computer engineering technology with a minor in audio engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). His interest in a career as an AV professional proliferated after landing a job with the RIT Classroom Support team, which maintains the many AV systems in learning spaces across campus. He then joined the school’s Production Services team and began pursuing AV certifications, first earning the Dante audio networking certification. Next, he plans to obtain AVIXA’s Certified Technologist Specialist (CTS) accreditation.

“The AV industry is made of a wide variety of careers, and it takes a diverse range of talent to keep the industry evolving,” said Valerio. “Our new elAVate and Mosaic scholarships help empower students underrepresented in the AV workforce to realize their potential in our vibrant industry.”

To learn more about the AVIXA Foundation’s scholarship program, visit