RSSI Scholarship Winners


RSSI is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 scholarship awards.


The James R. Higginbottom scholarship award winner is Ariel Ratner. Ariel’s father Vladimir Ratner is employed by Alstom Signaling.


The W. Ed Rowland Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Jade Harlow. Jade’s father Timothy Harlow works for Voestalpine Rialway Systems Nortrak.


The board also approved the awarding of a third scholarship in 2021 to Julia Esen. This scholarship was awarded in honor of the twenty-five years of service Patti Jon Goff has given to RSSI. Patti who was the owner and President of PTMW joined the RSSI board in April 1996. She announced her retirement at the April 2021 board meeting. Fittingly, Patti served as Chairman of the Scholarship committee in 2021. Julia is the daughter of Susan Esen who is employed by Alstom Signaling, Inc.


The scholarships are worth $12,000 payable in eight $1,500 payments before each semester. The recipients must be enrolled in an accredited North American institution of higher learning and maintain a 3.0 GPA base on a 4.0 scale. There were 36 qualified applications received this year and all were outstanding students deserving of the scholarship award. The applications are judged by three independent judges in ten categories including: academics, leadership, goals, essay and letters of recommendation.


The judges scores are tabulated and the overall top scoring applicants are reviewed and approved by the RSSI Scholarship Committee.

The 2021 RSSI W. Ed Rowland Memorial Scholarship

Jade Harlow


Jade graduated from Normal Community West High School West in Normal, Illinois with a 5.00 GPA.  She scored 1580 on the SAT. Ariel was Vice President of the National Honor Society, member of the French National Honor Society, board member of the Math Honor Society, along with many volunteer positions.


Jade will be attending Appalachian State University and plans to major in Actuarial Science.

The RSSI 2021 James R. Higginbottom Scholarship

Ariel Ratner


Ariel graduated from Penfield High School in Penfield, NY. She was involved in the Key Club, Leo’s Club, Chemistry Club, and Tranquility Club at her school. She scored 1480 on the SAT.


Ariel plans to continue her education at the University at Buffalo where she will major in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her goal is to become a pharmaceutical laboratory scientist working on new drugs that will improve the health of people facing a variety of illnesses.

The RSSI 2021 Patti Jon Goff Scholarship

Julia Esen


Julia graduated from Webster Thomas High School in Webster, NY. She was involved in multiple school clubs including National Honor Society, Language Honor Society, and Music Honor Society.


Julia is continuing her education at the University of Rochester studying Mechanical Engineering. She plans to study ways to create technological solutions aimed for environmental conservation.

In addition to the two new scholarships, the following are also active:

  • Hannah Alnemer – iNemsoft/University of Texas
  • Erika Howery – Progress Rail/University of Missouri
  • Andrew Gillespie – Gannett Fleming/University of Michigan
  • Gianna Forte – Alstom Transportation/University of Florida
  • Amasha Jayarante – Siemens/University of Pennsylvania
  • Sam Steen – Princeton Consultants Inc./Calvin College


Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc. is a trade association serving the communication and signal segment of the rail transportation industry.