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K-State Today

December 18, 2012



Powerful Impact: University a national leader in recipients of prestigious electrical engineering scholarship

By Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University is one of just 11 universities nationally this year with five or more recipients of scholarships through the prestigious IEEE Power and Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative program. The scholarship was awarded to 228 students at 100 universities across the U.S.

The initiative recognizes undergraduate students majoring in electrical engineering who are high achievers with strong GPAs and distinctive extracurricular commitments, and who are committed to exploring the power and energy field.

"Kansas State University has had a strong tradition of having a nationally recognized program in the power systems area," said Anil Pahwa, Logan-Fetterhoof chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering. "Being in the elite company of a few select universities with a large number of students receiving this award is testimony of our achievements and the quality of students we have in our program. I am extremely proud of our students."

Each student can receive up to three years of funding with the scholarship as long he or she continues to meet renewal standards. The scholarship provides $2,000 the first year, $2,000 the second year and $3,000 the third year. Students also get to take part in career experience opportunities for up to two years.

Kansas State University students receiving the scholarships, all electrical engineering majors, are Shae Pelkowski, senior, Derby; Taylor Barber, junior, Dighton; Jesus Sanchez, junior, Kansas City, Kan.; Joshua Loyd, sophomore, Manhattan; and William Duren, sophomore, Rose Hill.

Pelkowski applied for the scholarship because of his interest in power systems as a subset of electrical engineering, particularly in the generation and transmission fields. He has been a member of IEEE for two years and joined the Power and Energy Society at the start of the spring 2012 semester. Pelkowski is currently studying abroad in Poland at the Wroclaw University of Technology.

Barber says he applied for the scholarship because it was a great opportunity to help pay for school and would be a good recognition when applying for an internship. Barber believes that his work ethic and good standing in school helped play a part in his selection for the award.

Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Sanchez applied for the scholarship because of his interest in power engineering. He also aspires to work in the renewable energy industry. Sanchez believes that the scholarship will expose him to different opportunities to learn more about his field. 

"I am grateful for this opportunity," Sanchez said. "It is great to know that there are programs such as the IEEE PES Initiative that support my academic and personal goals."

"Electrical engineering is a field that excites and interests me due to the impact it has on society, scale of the systems involved and the new innovations occurring helping make renewable energy viable," Loyd said.

Loyd said it was his hard work and dedication in his schoolwork, as well as his math skills, that led him to apply for the scholarship.

Duren is currently a SAS -- Scholars Assisting Scholars -- tutor in the College of Engineering and does undergraduate research for David Steward, professor of civil engineering, through the Developing Scholars Program. He is a member of National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, or NACME, Scholar and a Cargill Scholar. He also is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the honor society of IEEE.