UTEP Electrical Engineering Grad Earns National Doctoral Fellowship
Last Updated on May 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM
Originally published May 26, 2021
By Christina Rodriguez
Axel Vazquez Montano, a newly minted graduate of The University of Texas at El Paso, was named the recipient of the Ph.D. Engineering Fellowship by the National GEM Consortium (GEM) to pursue his doctorate in electrical engineering at UTEP.
GEM is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions, including UTEP, that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied sciences and engineering. Within the GEM Consortium are 150 university and employer members, including industry and national laboratories, that come together to support students in graduate school.
The university and employer members of GEM provide a large network, financial support, and expert knowledge to help ensure student success in competitive academic and professional environments. GEM recruits underrepresented students and matches their skills to the specific technical needs of GEM employer members and offers internship opportunities along with their fellowships.
“Axel was selected among a group of over 1,300 applicants to GEM programs highlighting his strong academic record and potential for success in a Ph.D. program. We are honored that Axel chose our program in electrical and computer engineering to continue his doctoral studies,” said Miguel Velez-Reyes, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and George W. Edwards Jr. El Paso Electric Distinguished Professor in Engineering. “This award is a clear recognition to his academic achievements but also serves as encouragement to students at UTEP to seek out these opportunities available to them to support their personal and professional goals.”
The new UTEP alumnus’ profound curiosity in how electronics work piqued his interest in electrical engineering. The ability to work with cutting-edge technology and learn how technology works as an undergraduate, motivated Vazquez to further his education and pursue a doctoral degree in order to gain a deeper knowledge of electrical engineering practices and make a valuable contribution to the field.
Vazquez earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in spring 2021 and will begin his doctoral program in electrical engineering at UTEP in fall 2021. As a GEM fellow, he has secured a graduate internship at Intel and will take part in the GEM Consortium that includes several events and conferences that allow fellows to expand their career options and network by making meaningful connections with other students, faculty and industry professionals around the country.
The GEM Ph.D. Engineering Fellowship includes a $16,000 stipend applied to the first academic year of a doctoral program with additional support from the GEM member university of the recipient and full tuition and mandatory fees up to the fifth year of the program.
“UTEP has done an excellent job at preparing me to compete for such prestigious awards,” Vazquez said. “The faculty and fellow students encouraged me to take an active role in my development as a student, by going the extra mile while studying; as a professional, by obtaining real-world experience through internships; and as a leader, by motivating me to get involved in student organizations and take on leadership roles. UTEP has provided me with the educational tools to be able to accomplish this achievement of being selected as a GEM Fellow.”