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Pacific Engineering Students Receive High Honors

Apr 12, 2010

Benjamin Alldritt, a University of the Pacific Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management student, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship this week.  Nearly 9,000 students applied for the prestigious scholarship this year.

He is one of three engineering students who reached the final stages of competition for prestigious national awards in 2010. Matthew Lemmon was notified that he received an Honorable Mention for a Goldwater Scholarship earlier this week. Last semester, Grant Hollis was invited to the final round of interviews for a Rhodes Scholarship.

 "Benjamin is impressive academically and in his collaborative approach to leadership," said Cynthia Wagner Weick, Powell Scholars Director. "The initiative he has taken in identifying and undertaking original research projects is extraordinary."  

Alldritt, a Sacramento native who will graduate from Pacific in May, was awarded a Fulbright for his research involving the design and construction of a new exoskeleton system that allows paraplegics to operate their legs without external supports such as crutches. He will use the award during the 2010-2011 academic year for research at HAMK University of Applied Sciences in Hämeenlinna, Finland.

This year, more than 8,500 people submitted applications for the State Department-sponsored Fulbright scholarship, a thousand more than applied a year ago. Approximately 1,500 students, or about 17 percent of those who applied, were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. The scholarship covers round-trip airfare, research and book allowances, limited health benefits, full or partial tuition, and living expenses.

Alldritt also is a Powell Scholar, which is the top merit scholarship program at Pacific. Powell Scholars receive substantial tuition, and also funds to support research projects and international study.
Alldritt wasn't the only Pacific student to be notified about a national scholarship this week. Lemmon was awarded Honorable Mention for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.  Lemmon is studying dissolved oxygen concentrations in the San Joaquin River and monitoring the performance of an artificial aeration system operated by the California Department of Water Resources. 

The Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to 300 college juniors and seniors who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. The scholarship covers undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

The program pays tribute to the leadership, courage, and vision of Senator Goldwater and establishes in his name an endowed recognition program to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.

In November, Hollis, a Powell Scholar as well, was invited to the final round of interviews for a Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest international educational fellowship. It allows students to earn a master's or doctorate degree at the University of Oxford, the oldest university in England.

"This has been an exciting year for Pacific's Fellowship Office, with a record number of applicants and notable results," said Susan Weiner, Fellowship Advisor.  "Benjamin, Matthew and Grant are part of a new wave of talented and ambitious students across the university who are willing to take on the challenges of national competition, first and foremost the countless drafts that lead up to  well-written application essays."

For more information about Pacific's School of Engineering and Computer Science, please visit the Web site at http://www.pacific.edu/x6908.xml.