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Engineering Students Bag Two Churchill Scholarships Two UA seniors have won prestigious Churchill Scholarships to complete a one-year master’s degree program at the University of Cambridge in England. Engineering majors Jeannie Wilkening and Travis Sawyer are two of only 15 Churchill Scholars selected in 2016-2017 for outstanding academic achievement and proven research talent in science, engineering or Jeannie Wilkening mathematics. They are the third and fourth UA students to receive the award since it was first granted by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States in 1963. The UA is able to nominate only two students to apply for the Churchill Scholarship each year, and this year is the first time that both UA nominees have been awarded the scholarship. “It’s incredible that both Jeannie and I Travis Sawyer have received Churchill Scholarships this year,” Sawyer said. “I think it speaks to the quality of the engineering program at the UA.” Sawyer majored in optical sciences and engineering. He is developing visual recognition software to help scientists capture more detailed images for making discoveries in fields as different as art preservation, astronomy and medicine. Wilkening, a chemical engineering graduate, studies how human activity affects biogeochemical cycles and is interested in how these processes relate to climate change and sustainability. 4 ARIZONAENGINEER 39:1 spring 2016
Class of 2019 Part of Banner Year From freshmen enrolled to degrees conferred, the College of Engineering had an impressive academic year. “The College is growing,” said Dean Jeff Goldberg. “We are attracting and retaining top students and nearing an all-time high for the total number of degrees awarded.” The College enrolled 621 freshmen in fall 2015, up 125 students from the previous year. Nearly a third of the freshmen were also enrolled in the UA Honors College. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the College granted 719 degrees, including 485 bachelor’s, 168 master’s and 66 doctoral degrees – all higher than the previous year. UA Athletics
The total undergraduate student population in the College of Engineering was 2,760, with 25 percent women and 36 percent minority students. “These percentages are well above the national averages for engineering colleges and demonstrate our commitment to diversity and student success,” Goldberg said. First-year student-athlete Dani Spencer brought to UA a passion for gymnastics that matched her academic ability.
Bending Over Backward to Succeed—First-year Engineering student Dani Spencer is a member of the Arizona Wildcats gymnastics team.
“The UA stood out to me when I was being recruited because it provided the full package,” said Spencer, who started college last summer after graduating from high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a 4.1 GPA. “The UA offered the academic and athletic programs that I wanted – and to top it off, the girls on the team are absolutely amazing.”
Students Help Students Get Jobs About 800 students attended the 24th annual iExpo career fair on the UA campus in February to investigate jobs and internships at some of the nation’s top employers. The event is presented by the UA Engineering Student Council and is Arizona’s largest student-run jobs fair specifically for engineering students.
government agencies advertised hundreds of jobs.
Electrical engineering junior Dalton Hirst landed an interview with American Express on the spot. “My interview went very well,” he said. “My previous internship at IBM overlaps with the work I would be doing for this group.” Recruiters, including numerous alumni, from 48 companies and
“I would say almost half of our Tucson team’s engineers are former UA students,” said Southwest Gas recruiter and distribution engineer Josh Spivey, who received his UA bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2011. Spivey advises the UA Baja Club as a former president and helps UA Engineering seniors working on design projects sponsored by Southwest Gas.