Skip navigation

STIHL offers full-ride scholarship for TCC student

In an effort to support student success in the fields of mechatronics, engineering technology and engineering, STIHL Inc. has established the new STIHL Scholarship for Student Advancement in partnership with Tidewater Community College.

To qualify, students must be enrolled at TCC and have a minimum, overall GPA of 3.0 from a high school or from other studies undertaken.  

Students can be studying at the college on a full-time or part-time basis. Scholarship funds may be used for tuition, books, fees and tools.

STIHL Inc. manufactures more than 275 model variations of handheld outdoor power equipment for sale in the U.S. and around the world. The Virginia Beach facility, which is headquarters for its U.S. operations, employs more than 1,900 in a variety of positions from manufacturing, product assembly, manufacturing engineering, sales and marketing, and finance.

“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Tidewater Community College to offer this award to a student who has demonstrated academic excellence,” said Christian Koestler, vice president of operations for STIHL Inc. “Working together with academia is the best solution to educate well-qualified employees for our manufacturing industry.”

TCC President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani said, “We are proud of our partnership with STIHL and committed to providing quality education and hands-on training for students with interest in advanced manufacturing. One of our continuing top priorities is working with businesses to prepare employees for meaningful work for in-demand careers in our region.”

Thomas “Tommy” Floyd Babcock of Chesapeake is the first STIHL scholar. Babcock, 19, is a second-year engineering student at the Chesapeake Campus. He holds a 4.0 GPA and credits TCC faculty members Stephen Ezzell, William Simmons and Doug Thiele for his academic success. Babcock recently launched the Science and Technology Club at the Chesapeake Campus, which will conduct hands-on activities for students in robotics and engineering. He is a 2013 graduate of Great Bridge High School.

To apply for the STIHL scholarship, students must complete an application, which includes a short essay outlining their interest in advanced manufacturing and related courses of study, and reflect career goals. To apply, visit