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AES Educational Foundation Announces Awards for 2015

For Release: September 4, 2015

AES Educational Foundation Announces Awards for 2015

The Educational Foundation of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) has announced the recipients of the 2015 AES Educational Grants for Graduate Studies in Audio Engineering. The announcement was made by Don Puluse, President of the AES Educational Foundation (AESEF), on behalf of the foundation’s Board of Directors. 

The second annual Bruce Swedien Scholarship is a renewal grant awarded to Robert Fernandes, MM candidate in Sound Recording from McGill University, where he is highly regarded by the faculty. Rob has a BM from Humber College, Toronto. The Bruce Swedien Scholarship was initiated in 2014 in honor of Bruce’s 80th birthday. This scholarship aids young recording engineers who believe in putting “Music First!,” to quote Swedien’s mantra. For more information, visit Last year’s recipient of the Bruce Swedien Scholarship was Pawel Leskiewicz, a graduate student in Sound Recording at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University.

Two special scholarships are being generously provided by HARMAN International Industries. The Board of Directors has awarded these grants to Sina Hafezi and Jack Kelly. Mr. Hafezi is studying for a PhD in Speech and Audio Processing from the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department at Imperial College London. He has undergraduate and MS degrees from Queen Mary University of London. Mr. Kelly will earn an MM in Sound Recording from McGill University. He has a BFA in Electroacoustic studies at Concordia University. He currently serves as Chair of the McGill AES Student Section.

The Emil Torick Scholar distinction is again offered to Charlotte Desvages, who will earn a PhD in Music from the Audio and Acoustics Group at the University of Edinburgh. Her previous degrees are from Edinburgh (MS in Acoustics and Music Technology) and Universitè de Caen Basse-Normandie (Physics). This award, honoring former AES Foundation President and founding member Emil Torick, is awarded to an outstanding student with exceptional career goals.

The John Eargle Award is given to Jose Ernesto Valenzuela. He is a Masters candidate in Music Technology at NYU, and holds a Mechanical-Electrical Engineering degree from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. Jose is also a composer/arranger and keyboard player. The John Eargle Award is given annually to a student who excels in both technology and music.

Other honorees:

Natasha Branch will pursue an MFA in Recording Arts and Technologies from MTSU; she has a BM in Composition from Cameron University. Karl Fleck will receive an MM in Sound Recording Technology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell; he has a degree in Recording Arts from Hope College. Jonathan Kaspy seeks an MM in Sound Recording from McGill University; he has a BM from Humber College, and he also attended Vanier College and the Banff Center. Spencer Shafter will earn an MM in Music Technology and Performing Arts at NYU; he holds a BM in Music Technology from NYU. Jiayue Wu is a PhD candidate in Media Arts and Technology at University of California, Santa Barbara; she has an MA from Stanford University, and a BS from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. 

The AES Educational Foundation was established in 1984 to encourage talented students to enter the profession of audio engineering. Grants for graduate studies with emphasis on audio topics are awarded annually. Recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated talent, achievements, goals and recommendations. Since its inception, the AESEF has presented awards totaling over seven hundred thousand dollars. Grants have been made possible by contributions from AES, Inc., HARMAN International Industries Inc., the estate of John K. Hilliard, JBL Inc., the Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio, the families of John Eargle, David Smith and Emil Torick, and the family and friends of Bruce Swedien. The AES also receives support from other benefactors such as in-memoriam donors, and individuals and companies that support education in audio. Application forms and additional information are available from the Audio Engineering Society, 551 Fifth Ave., Suite 1225, New York, NY 10176, USA, or on its web site:

Photo Caption: Pictured L-R: Bruce Swedien and Pawel Leskiewicz, recipient of the Bruce Swedien 2014 Scholarship.

About the Audio Engineering Society
The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 and now counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. Currently, its members are affiliated with more than 75 AES professional sections and more than 95 AES student sections around the world. Section activities may include guest speakers, technical tours, demonstrations and social functions. Through local AES section events, members experience valuable opportunities for professional networking and personal growth. For additional information visit


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