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Top UTEP Students Awarded Hawkins Scholarship

EL PASO, Texas (Nov. 9, 2023) – Two undergraduate students, Arian Perez Ramos, an electrical engineering major, and Valeria Lopez, a cellular and molecular biochemistry major, have earned the Hawkins Scholarship – The University of Texas at El Paso’s highest award for scholarship and leadership.

Junior cellular and molecular biochemistry major Valeria Lopez (left) and junior electrical engineering major Arian Perez Ramos have earned the Hawkins Scholarship – the University’s highest award for scholarship and leadership.
Junior cellular and molecular biochemistry major Valeria Lopez (left) and junior electrical engineering major Arian Perez Ramos have earned the Hawkins Scholarship – the University’s highest award for scholarship and leadership.

The Hawkins Scholarship application and selection process is modeled after competitive graduate scholarship programs including the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell and Gates Cambridge scholarships. Each Hawkins Scholarship, bestowed annually to two UTEP juniors, comes with a $10,000 award that may be used to pay for educational expenses or experiences that enhance the scholar’s undergraduate education in preparation for graduate school. These expenses can include tuition, fees, room and board, books and special educational experiences including undergraduate research and study abroad or away from campus.

Learn more about the 2023 Hawkins Scholars:

Arian Perez Ramos is a first-generation student and native of Ojinaga, Mexico whose time at UTEP has consisted of electrical engineering research as well as being of service to his fellow Miners. Ramos’ experience includes working as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Intern at the University of Cincinnati and applying his skills at Lockheed Martin where he was a hardware engineering intern. On campus, he serves as a Senator-At-Large in UTEP’s student government association and is a member of the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES).

For Ramos, earning the Hawkins Scholarship is a moment of excitement as well as a signal to continue pushing the boundaries of his abilities. 

“I am thrilled and deeply grateful to have been selected for the Hawkins scholarship. It is an incredible honor that inspires me to push even harder in my academic journey,” he said. “Meeting the exceptional students and alumni of the program has been truly inspiring. Their success is a testament to the transformative power of education, and I am excited to be a part of the exceptional community that is UTEP.” 

Valeria Lopez is a native of Juarez, Mexico who has been engaged in breast cancer research for the past several years under the guidance of Giulio Francia, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition to her impactful research experience, Lopez has also improved the academic experience of her fellow Miners. She is a biochemistry tutor at the Miner Athlete Academic Center and has served as a chemistry peer leader, where she facilitated small learning groups and one-on-one tutoring sessions with students enrolled in large chemistry courses. Lopez is also a member of the UTEP Undergraduate Fellows Program, which is designed to help outstanding first-year students and sophomores who plan to apply for nationally competitive fellowships during their undergraduate career.

For Lopez, the journey to earning a Hawkins Scholarship was a rewarding experience that she’ll leverage to accomplish her long-term goals.

“The Hawkins Scholarship application process was an inspirational experience and a chance to meet with members of the committee and to network with fellow students,” she said. “This award is an amazing opportunity that will help me to pursue graduate education as an MD-PhD student."

About the Hawkins Scholarship

The Hawkins Scholarship is named for 1st Lt. William Deane Hawkins, who studied engineering at UTEP, then called the Texas College of Mines. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor and was eventually commissioned as an officer before being killed in action while serving during World War II. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic acts above and beyond the call of duty.

The scholarship selection committee included Richard Hyde, His Majesty’s Consul General of the United Kingdom in Houston; Roberto Coronado, UTEP alumnus and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Senior Vice President in Charge of El Paso and San Antonio Branches; Hilda Galvan, UTEP alumna and partner-in-charge at law firm Jones Day in Dallas; Kathrin Berg, UTEP alumna and Director of Donor Relations at the El Paso Community Foundation; and Jay Hone, retired Air Force colonel and attorney.

About The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our 24,000 students are Hispanic, and more than half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 171 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.



Last Updated on November 09, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published November 09, 2023

By MC Staff UTEP Marketing and Communications