Nominated by their professors, honorees across North America were selected for displaying leadership, growth and academic success.

Recipients of the first annual Top Hat Scholarship attend Ohio University, Michigan State University, Texas A&M, University of North Georgia and Dalhousie University.

Top Hat, the leading online teaching platform for higher education, has awarded scholarships worth a combined $100,000 USD to five exceptional North American students for their academic achievements and the positive learning environments they helped foster. ”Our mission is to make teaching affordable, fun and effective,“ said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO of Top Hat. ”These five students exemplify what happens when professors and students embrace technology as a tool to provide a richer, more personalized and engaging learning experience.“

The winners

Each student who received a scholarship saw material improvements in their academic performance as a result of using Top Hat’s interactive digital platform. ”Our first place winner just completed her freshman year,“ said Silagadze. ”As an in-state student at Ohio University, she’ll now be able to focus on her studies and pursue her interests without worrying about the financial burden of tuition payments.“

The 2019 Top Hat Scholarship student winners are:

$50,000 scholarship: Delia Grantham — Ohio University
$20,000 scholarship: Emma Rice — Michigan State University
$10,000 scholarship: Patryk Tomaszkiewicz — Texas A&M University
$10,000 scholarship: Hope Long — University of North Georgia
$10,000 scholarship: Nicole Blinn — Dalhousie University

These scholarships will enable the students to continue their academic achievements and lay the foundation for their contributions to the broader community.

First-place winner: Delia Grantham

During her freshman year at Ohio University, first-place winner Delia Grantham worked five days a week in addition to going to college. She plans to enter social work when she’s finished her undergrad degree.

”I would love to get the scholarship to be able to free my schedule so I can get more involved in helping other parts of the community,“ she told Silagadze just before he revealed she’d won. ”Athens, Ohio is a very impoverished county. I would love to go out and help people and serve meals — the after-school things I saw my classmates get to do. When I think about helping others, I get teary eyed because of how much I want to make a difference.“

The runners-up

All the student winners praised their professors’ use of Top Hat’s online resources for the significant savings they provided on the cost of textbooks and for the accessibility and collaboration that was made possible by Top Hat.

Nicole Blinn, for example, was unable to attend class for a portion of her semester at Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University. ”I would not have been able to continue my studies without being able to engage with my instructors in the classroom via Top Hat,“ she said. ”In larger classes, I think Top Hat fosters a sense of inclusiveness. It’s turned me from a pretty disengaged high school student into a student who wants to be a teacher in the classroom.“

At Texas A&M, Patryk Tomaszkiewicz is studying to become a doctor. His family emigrated from Europe, and he’s the first to attend college in the U.S. He credited Top Hat’s tools with raising his GPA at least half a grade point. ”When I first got introduced to entomology, it was really tough,“ he said. ”But when my professor brought Top Hat to the lectures, I found that it was an effective tool. The interactivity helped not just in studying and remembering the material, but also applying the material.“

For more information or to schedule a demo with Top Hat, please visit

About Top Hat

Top Hat’s interactive, cloud-based teaching platform enables professors to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling content, tools and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use the Top Hat teaching platform. To learn more, visit

Contact joel at tophat dot com