ISE Honda Dreams Scholarship recipients

Posted: September 27, 2023
Three people posing and smiling
L to R: Dean Ayanna Howard, Elijah Thomas, and Shubho Bhattacharya

Honda Dreams Scholarship student Elijah Thomas participated in a co-op term in Honda’s Procurement Business Unit at the Indiana Automobile Plant this summer. Thomas is an Industrial and Systems Engineering senior at The Ohio State University and among the first class of Honda Dreams Scholarship recipients.

The Honda Dreams Scholarship program was established by a $100,000 gift from Honda to The Ohio State University to fund scholarships for diverse engineering students. Designed to help students bridge the gap between high school and college, the Honda Dreams Scholarship is changing the course of students’ lives through access to higher education.

Honda Dreams Scholarship recipients have a unique opportunity to develop relationships with Honda associates, apply for co-ops at Honda and get involved with collaborative projects between Honda and Ohio State.

Thomas, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, has participated in diverse experiences at Ohio State through the Honda Dreams Scholarship program, including his co-op opportunity at Honda’s Indiana Automobile Plant this summer. “The Honda Dreams Scholarship program has supported and challenged me throughout my college journey,” said Thomas. “I have had a good relationship with Honda the last two years, especially with Shubho Bhattacharya, who has provided me valuable insights about the program and my development.”

"In alignment with the strategic priorities of the Honda–Ohio State Partnership, the Honda Dreams Scholarship program demonstrates Honda's commitment to increasing diversity in the workforce development pipeline for Honda, as well as the automotive industry as a whole," said Shubho Bhattacharya, senior manager at Honda and co-director of the Honda-Ohio State Partnership.

A young man in a lab coat working at an auto manufacturing plant
Elijah Thomas ensures part delivery and quality at Honda’s Indiana Automobile Plant during his summer co-op.

Thomas’ co-op experience at Honda’s Indiana Automobile Plant provided hands-on, real-life experience in application of his engineering education. “Through my experience with Honda’s Procurement Business Unit at the Indiana Automobile Plant, I worked with a diverse team supporting quality and delivery across all functions of the plant. “I’ve been able to see many of the challenges that can pop up in the plant and how to resolve it to keep the line running,” said Thomas. “I have learned a lot about the plant and the process of manufacturing cars.” Thomas has accepted an offer from the same department for another co-op term in summer 2024 at Honda’s Marysville Automobile Plant in Ohio.

The Honda Dreams Scholarship Program will graduate the first cohort of students in Spring 2024. To date, nine students majoring in electrical and computer engineering, industrial and systems engineering, or mechanical engineering have been awarded the scholarship, some over multiple years, helping them achieve their dreams and providing a pathway to a career in engineering in the automotive industry.

Meredith Reffey, manager at Honda and member of the Honda-Ohio State Partnership team, organized a visit to Honda’s East Liberty Automobile Plant in Ohio recently, where Honda Dreams Scholarship students visited with plant leadership and diverse engineers at Honda, toured the plant and explored co-op and full-time opportunities. Students also visited the nearby Transportation Research Center.

Honda Dreams Scholar Lathania Escobar-Soto, also majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering, had the opportunity to job-shadow with Rachel Ratnasingham, Engineering Coordinator at Honda and Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate of Ohio State, and her fellow associates in Honda’s Supply Chain Management Business Unit. Following this experience, Escobar-Soto has accepted an offer for a co-op position for summer 2024 in that same department.

Two women posing at an auto manufacturing plant
Honda Dreams Scholar Lathania Escobar-Soto job-shadowing Honda’s Rachel Ratnasingham for a day at the Marysville Auto Plant

“I am truly grateful for receiving the Honda Dreams Scholarship, as it allows me to further focus on my studies and additional development opportunities during my time at Ohio State,” said Escobar-Soto. “I am excited to take on a co-op position within the Supply Chain Packaging department at Honda in Marysville next summer.”

Two other ISE students are also among the current Honda Dreams Scholarship recipients: senior Maggan Sheikh and sophomore Imani McInnis. Sheikh has accepted an offer for a co-op term in autumn 2024 at Honda’s Marysville Automobile Plant, in the Vehicle Quality Department. And McInnis has accepted an offer for a co-op term in summer 2024 at the same plant, in the Weld Department.


Category: Student