Four Outstanding Techies Win Tau Beta Pi Scholarships

SOCORRO, N.M. November 30, 2015 – Four New Mexico Tech students were awarded exclusive scholarships from the national Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

Each of the four students received $2,000 awards, based on both their academic excellence, extracurricular achievements and community involvement. The winners are Maya Robinson and Connor Brashar, both of electrical engineering, and Andrew Hunt and Kevin Reed, both of chemical engineering.

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Four Tech students won Tau Beta Pi awards this year. They are Maya Robinson, Kevin Reed, Connor Brashar and Andrew Hunt. 


Dr. Aly El-Osery, faculty advisor to the campus chapter, said he was impressed that New Mexico Tech has four students who earned the scholarships. Of the 250 chapters nationwide, the organization only gave 261 such awards.

“For New Mexico Tech, this is really nice to see,” he said. “The Tau Beta Pi Class of 2015-2016 is the largest in the 17 year history of the scholarship program. These four students are really active on campus, have high GPAs and are active in the community.”

Dr. Michaelann Tartis, associate professor of chemical engineering, said the winners are all active in research on campus and have taken leadership roles in and out of the classroom.

Robinson, the president of the Tau Beta Pi chapter, said the chapter has been very active in recent years.

“We have a lot of community outreach activities, especially educational outreach,” Robinson said. “Tau Beta Pi is a prestigious society. The people who make it in typically have  a love of community service. I’ve been doing it all my life and a lot of other members have been too.”

Over the past year, the chapter has organized tutoring on a weekly basis at the Socorro Youth Center, the Cottonwood Valley Charter School, and the N.M. Boys and Girls Ranch in northern Socorro County. The chapter also organizes and runs events during the Science Olympiad on campus every year.

Andrew Hunt said all of the winners nationwide have high GPAs, but what sets them apart is the extracurricular activities.

“Everyone who won has outside activities in addition to academics,” he said. “I really enjoyed our outreach last year, so I volunteered to be the Academic Outreach Coordinator. Maya is the president and the rest of us [scholarship winners] are officers in the chapter . That’s pretty cool.”

Students in Tau Beta Pi also volunteer with Puerto Seguro, the local drop-in homeless shelter and food bank. They hold food drives every semester at Smith’s and help out at the shelter on Fridays. They also volunteer to run an arts-and-crafts booth during the annual Community Arts Party in February.

“My first year at Tech I couldn’t find anything to do [for community service],” Robinson said. “As soon as I was in Tau Beta Pi, there was at least one thing a month, but usually two to four things. That’s been good for me.”

Robinson said receiving the scholarship was surprising and very welcome.

“I have a hard time putting it into words, but now I don’t have to worry about money this semester,” she said. “My existing scholarships pay for tuition, but this helps me relax and helps me plan on grad school. I was at work when I found out and I kind of squealed.”

Dr. El-Osery said, “Tau Beta Pi has always been active at Tech, but these individuals really put themselves on top.”

Each of the winners had recommendation letters from faculty members, El-Osery said. Each of the award winners receives $1,000 per semester for the 2015-2016 school year.

Founded in 1885, Tau Beta Pi is the nation's oldest and largest engineering honor society. Student members are presumed to be talented engineers or engineering students who have also demonstrated qualities of leadership and service. By becoming a member of an honor society, students join others with similar interests and high achievements.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech