Engineering students receiving a total of $46,000 in scholarships were encouraged to connect outside the classroom

Our scholars got dollars.

Nearly 40 future engineers received financial support this past academic year in the form of scholarship awards ranging largely between $1,000 and $2,500.

While this financial support assists Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) students in covering some of the costs of their education, the scholarship-application process is meant to do something more: encourage them to make critical connections with the campus community beyond the classroom.

In reviewing scholarship applicants, committees review student engagement. Examples of such engagement includes participating in the Highlander Orientation Peer Leader and Supplemental Instruction Leader programs, engineering-oriented professional societies, undergraduate research, and internships. The more terms students engage in such activities, the more they increase their chances of receiving a scholarship.

Student engagement are equally considered with academic performance, said Rod Smith, BCOE’s director of student affairs. 

An undergraduate engineering student conducts research in a laboratory.
An undergraduate engineering student conducts research in a laboratory.

“Student engagement is deeply important to the success of our future engineers,” he added. “Research suggests that when students are broadly and deeply engaged with the campus community, there are positive impacts to their learning, their satisfaction, and their achievement. When our engineers connect in meaningful ways with our Bourns and UC Riverside communities, good things happen!”

The 39 scholarship recipients that were selected last academic year were drawn from a pool of 314 applicants. The total amount of scholarship funds awarded was more than $46,372. Of all these scholarships, the minimum amount that was awarded—with the exception of one $500 scholarship—was $1,000.

The goal is to award between $500 and $1,000 annually per scholarship recipient, and to distribute the funds equally across first-year students and seniors. Another goal is to award between $2,000 and $3,000 to scholarship recipients over their entire time at BCOE, Smith said.

There are generally four types of scholarships BCOE students may receive. Some scholarships are specific to the college, such as the Allen Van Tran Award in Engineering Fund scholarship, a legacy left by a first-generation graduate Allen Van Tran, the youngest BCOE alumnus to establish an endowment at UCR.

The American Honda Science/Engineering Endowed Fund scholarship is geared to women or students from underrepresented communities in the Honors Program who are working on their senior thesis project.

Other scholarships are specific to a department, such as the Roberta Nichols Yakel Endowned Scholarship, which is intended for juniors who are Mechanical Engineerng majors. The Alexander Scott Bilderback Endowed Bioengineering Scholarship is geared toward undergraduate or graduate students in the Bioengineering program.

The Mark and Pamela Rubin Endowned Scholarship is a UC Riverside-wide scholarship that is specifically intended for engineering students. Other scholarships not tied to BCOE are connected to the UCR Alumni Association, the UCR Foundation, and the Office of Financial Aid.

The scholarship application period is typically in winter with the selection of awardees and notification taking place the following April.

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