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Opportunity Research Scholars’ Program

Company Sponsorship Allows For Growth

Constance Brown

Thanks to company sponsors, The Intel Corporation, Rockwell Automation, and Rockwell Collins, the ORS Program has grown! On Thurs- day, February 5 a New Mentor/ Scholar Luncheon was held to welcome several new members

into the ORS Program.

Group members added in No- vember, Amin Rida, (Mentor), Jeremy Jones, Asma Qureshi, Trevale Reynolds, and Edward Tan (Scholars) attended as well as Debrub Das (Mentor), Alvin Chou, Washim Mohammed, Sha- ran Parikh, David Saenz Landaza- bal, and Jeremy Thompson (Scholars) who joined the ORS

Program in January.

Seasoned Scholars Seema Bhan- dari, Courtney Drewski, Jeff

Lumish, and Rodrigo Quinteros were on hand to meet new Schol- ars and share their experiences. Jill Auerbach, ORS Program Direc- tor, initiated introductions and talked further about program

benefits and expectations.

WELCOME ABOARD to our new ORS Program members! We look forward to watching

your progress.

Constance Brown, a Sopho- more CMPE major and Pujita Vijayvargiya , a Freshman EE major both joined the existing Microwave Research Group under the mentorship of Matt Trotter. Dr. Tom Michaels is their Faculty


Alvin Chou is a Sophomore EE major. Alvin is working with

the existing Propagation Group II.

Lorne Liechty is the Mentor and the Faculty Advisor is Dr. Greg


Debrup Das, PhD Mentor, EE Sophomore, Washim Mo- hammed and EE Junior David Saenz Landazabal make up the new Electric Power Group. Dr. Deepak Divan is the Faculty


The newest member of the exist- ing Electric Power Group is Sha- ran Parikh, a Sophomore EE major. The group is mentored by Stefan Grubic and the Faculty

Advisor is Dr. Tom Habetler.

The Tongue Driver Group, mentored by Xueliang Huo, has added Jeremy Thompson, a CMPE major Freshman. Dr. Maysam Ghovanloo is the Faculty


Pujita Vijayvargiya

Alvin Chou

Debrup Das

Washim Mohammed

Jeremy Thompson

David Saenz Landazabal

Rodrigo Quinteros and Seema Bhandari welcome Pujita Vijayvar-

Sharan Parikh

giya at the luncheon February 5.

Graduate School — Decisions, Preparation, Options

Dr. Bonnie Ferri, Associate Chair of Graduate Affairs, pre- sented a workshop focusing on preparing to attend graduate school to ORS Program Scholars on Tuesday, February 10. A panel of ORS Program PhD Mentors, Lonnie Parker, Ryan Pirkl, and Amin Rida, added to the discussion points by sharing

their experiences.

The Scholars received helpful information and advice from Dr. Ferri about reasons to pursue a graduate degree, career benefits and options, what to do as an undergraduate student to pre- pare for graduate school admis- sion, what the requirements are to complete a graduate degree, and how to get the most out of their undergraduate research experience as preparation for

graduate school.

“The MS is fast turning into the standard degree for engi- neering.” said Dr. Ferri, and the

PhD “differentiates you from your co-workers, provides for choicer assignments, more work hour flexi- bility and higher compensation, and gives one the option of going into

teaching or industry.”

Each Mentor on the panel told the story of their personal path to applying and preparing for graduate school, shared what influenced their decisions, and described (as an undergraduate student) what was

most helpful to them.

Although the road to one’s deci- sion to attend graduate school is never a carbon copy of someone else’s, the general theme of advice to the Scholars from the PhD Men- tors was to “talk to people.” Lonnie Parker, Mentor to the Hu- man-Automation Systems Lab, advised the Scholars to “get their questions answered.” He said “talk to people a lot. Nobody will give you the answer, but all the differ-

ent responses will help you shape

your perspective to help you come to a decision.” Amin Rida, when speaking about his first ex- perience presenting at a confer- ence, said “During that time it helped to talk to the session chairs who assisted me with pres- entation details. “ Ryan Pirkl, Men- tor for the Propagation Group I, said “ Doing undergraduate re- search was the most helpful ex- perience for preparing me for graduate school. It not only helped me gain an understanding of what ‘research’ is, but it also gave me the opportunity to inter- act with graduate students. Talk- ing to them about their experi- ences helped to clarify my own perceptions of what life in gradu- ate school is like.” All three workshop panel members lead research groups that are spon-

sored by the Intel Corporation.

Thank you Dr. Ferri and panel members for sharing your insight!

Dr. Bonnie Ferri, Chair of Graduate Affairs

Workshop Panel Members Amin Rida, Lonnie Parker

and Ryan Pirkl (left to right)

ORSP Workshop Attendees

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