3 Standout Techies Win Tau Beta Pi Scholarships


3 Standout Techies Win Tau Beta Pi Scholarships

Chemical Engineering Students Among Only 210 Winners


SOCORRO, N.M. – Three New Mexico Tech students were awarded exclusive scholarships from the national Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society for 2016-2017.

Each of the three students received $2,000 awards, based on both their academic excellence, extracurricular achievements and community involvement. The winners are Will Sullivan, Danielle Richards, and Maria Troyer – all seniors in the Chemical Engineering Department.

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Maria Troyer (left) and Danielle Richards are seniors in chemical engineering and winners of the 2016-2017 Tau Beta Pi scholarship. The third winner, Will Sullivan, is currently studying in Ireland for one semester. 



Dr. Aly El-Osery, faculty advisor to the campus chapter, said he was impressed that New Mexico Tech has had such success landing TBP awards. Of the 250 chapters nationwide, the organization only gave 210 awards this year. Four NMT seniors won the award last year. 

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.

Sullivan is currently studying at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth for a semester abroad. Via email, he said, “When I first heard that I received the scholarship I was very honored and, of course, really excited. Free money is always a cause for joy! On a more serious note, the students from our chapter who have received this scholarship in the past are very high achieving individuals in their academics, the roles they play in the community, as well as in their other extracurricular activities. It really is a great compliment to receive the same recognition as people I admire.”

Troyer said, “I was surprised because it seems super-competitive. I wasn’t expecting it.”

Richards said, “I was very excited. It is nice to see that what you’re doing is recognized by the national organization.”

All three of the award winners said the NMT chapter of Tau Beta Pi is active in community service, particularly tutoring at local elementary schools.

Troyer said, “Tutoring is a lot of fun. They get really excited about everything. They love having help, even with coloring. I love seeing their enthusiasm.”

Sullivan was a tutor for three semesters at the Cottonwood Valley Charter school and for one semester at the Socorro Youth Center.

The Tau Beta Pi chapter has about 40 active members. Their other activities include an annual highway cleanup, Science Olympiad volunteering, and attending the national conference.

Richards is also a 2016-17 Macey Scholar and recently learned that she won a national scholarship from the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE). She said, “I think our chapter is one of the more active, especially considering the size of our school. We are comparable to chapters at larger schools that are nationally recognized.”

Sullivan said the NMT chapter sends an annual report to the national organization that outlines their outreach and community service activities, which further shows how hard the chapter works.

“Obviously a lot has to do with the type of students that Tech attracts, as well,” Sullivan said. “Tech is a very tough school, so the types of students who join TBP, and other societies that are focused on community outreach, are generally very driven, hard working, and talented students.”

All three TBP scholars said they plan on going to graduate school. Sullivan and Richards are aiming to start graduate work in the fall of 2017. Richards wants to enter the chemical engineering workforce for a year or two, then return to grad school.

Each student wrote an application essay and submitted letters of recommendation from faculty members. Each of the award winners receives $1,000 per semester for the 2016-2017 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 –