2 UTEP Students Awarded Hawkins Scholarship

Junior cellular and molecular biochemistry major Valeria Lopez (left) and junior electrical engineering major Arian Perez Ramos have earned the Hawkins Scholarship – the University’s highest award for scholarship and leadership.

Arian Perez Ramos, an electrical engineering major, and Valeria Lopez, a cellular and molecular biochemistry major, have been awarded the Hawkins Scholarship, the University of Texas at El Paso’s highest scholarship and leadership honor.

The application and selection procedure for the Hawkins Scholarship is modeled around competitive graduate scholarship programs such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Gates Cambridge fellowships.

Each Hawkins Scholarship, which is awarded to two UTEP juniors each year, includes a $10,000 award that can be used to pay for educational fees or experiences that would enrich the scholar’s undergraduate studies in preparation for graduate school. Tuition, fees, accommodation & board, books, and special educational experiences such as undergraduate research and study abroad or away from school can all be included in these costs.

Arian Perez Ramos is a first-generation student from Ojinaga, Mexico, who has spent his time at UTEP conducting electrical engineering research and serving his fellow Miners. Ramos’ experience includes working as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Intern at the University of Cincinnati and as a hardware engineering intern at Lockheed Martin. He is a member of the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES) and serves as a Senator-At-Large in UTEP’s student government association.

Earning the Hawkins Scholarship is both an exciting occasion for Ramos and a signal to continue pushing the boundaries of his talents.

“I am thrilled and deeply grateful to have been selected for the Hawkins scholarship. It is an incredible honor that inspires me to push even harder in my academic journey,” he said. “Meeting the exceptional students and alumni of the program has been truly inspiring. Their success is a testament to the transformative power of education, and I am excited to be a part of the exceptional community that is UTEP.”

Valeria Lopez is a Juarez, Mexico native who has been conducting breast cancer research for several years under the supervision of Giulio Francia, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Lopez has enriched the academic experience of her fellow Miners in addition to her influential research experience.

She works as a biochemistry tutor at the Miner Athlete Academic Center and has previously worked as a chemistry peer leader, facilitating small learning groups and one-on-one tutoring sessions with students enrolled in big chemistry classes. Lopez is also a member of the UTEP Undergraduate Fellows Program, which is intended to assist outstanding first-year and sophomore students who intend to apply for nationally competitive fellowships during their undergraduate careers.

Lopez views her Hawkins Scholarship journey as a positive one that she will use to achieve her long-term goals.

“The Hawkins Scholarship application process was an inspirational experience and a chance to meet with members of the committee and to network with fellow students,” she said. “This award is an amazing opportunity that will help me to pursue graduate education as an MD-PhD student.”

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