UTEP Students, Alumni Earn Prestigious STEM Awards
Cohort includes University’s first winners of the Goldwater Scholarship
EL PASO, Texas (Apr. 27, 2023) – Seven current students and recent graduates from The University of Texas at El Paso have received two of the most highly competitive scholarship awards available to college students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields — the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.
The Goldwater is awarded to undergraduates and covers all tuition and fees to complete their undergraduate degree with additional support for other research and graduate school preparation benefits. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is a full scholarship to fund a doctoral degree. Both scholarships are highly competitive.
“These students are committed to excellence and have taken advantage of the opportunities available to them at UTEP,” said Heather Wilson, UTEP President. “It’s great to see more students applying for and receiving awards like these.”
The Goldwater Scholarship was awarded to Ana Paola Aranzola, a senior mechanical engineering major, and Brian Rodiles Delgado, a junior in computer science.
Aranzola is studying mechanical engineering and is part of a research project on 3D printing of lithium-ion batteries, which are important components of electric vehicles and other electronic devices. She plans to pursue her master’s and doctoral degrees after graduation.
Rodiles Delgado is studying computer science. His research focuses on protecting critical infrastructure, such as power plants and electrical grids, from cyber-attacks. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in computer science at UTEP, build a career in cyber defense and ultimately teach at a Hispanic-serving institution.
The Goldwater scholarship program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to honor former Senator Barry Goldwater. It is the most prestigious prize available to undergraduates in the engineering and science fields. This marks the first time that students at UTEP have earned the scholarship.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowships were awarded to the following five recent UTEP graduates who are currently enrolled in doctoral programs at UTEP or across the nation. The Fellowship is a full scholarship through a Doctoral degree:
Guerrero is currently a Ph.D. student in the biological chemistry program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He graduated from UTEP in Dec. 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
Gil E. Moreu
Moreu graduated from UTEP in May of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He’s currently a Ph.D. student in social psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Neria-Moore obtained his undergraduate degree at UTEP in 2019. He remains at his alma mater as a Ph.D. student in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Rios graduated from UTEP in Dec. 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She will begin her doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall.
Sakells is currently a first-year Ph.D. student at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. She graduated from UTEP in May of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is highly competitive and provides three years of financial support to students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree and conducting research in a STEM field. With this year’s cohort, a total of 17 UTEP graduates have received the award since 2019.
UTEP’s recipients of the Goldwater and NSF GRFP awards received comprehensive guidance throughout the application process from the University’s Office of Student Fellowships and Awards. The office’s mission is to make UTEP students and recent alumni aware of nationally competitive scholarships for which they are qualified and provide support and guidance as they prepare their application materials.
More information on the services provided by the fellowships office is available here.
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 half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 169 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.
Last Updated on April 27, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published April 27, 2023
By MC Staff UTEP Marketing and Communications