By Linda Fresques
Two incoming New Mexico State University freshmen engineering students have received the largest scholarships ever awarded by the College of Engineering. Samuel Pedrotty, from Albuquerque, and Clay Pottorff, from Deming, have received the Boeing FIRST scholarship of $5,000 per year for up to a total of $20,000 over four years.
The Boeing FIRST scholarship was established this year to support high school seniors who have participated in a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition team or a FIRST Tech Challenge Team and are enrolled as engineering students in the NMSU College of Engineering.
“Boeing has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with New Mexico State University for recruiting, research and continuing education. The FIRST program is an important component in our strategy to feed the K-12 pipeline for engineering, and I was pleased to see NMSU be one of the four universities to receive the scholarships,” said Margaret S. Morse, director of Strategic Missile Systems at The Boeing Company and president of the NMSU College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council.
Pedrotty graduated in the top 20 percent of his class from Albuquerque High School and plans to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. “I am not sure what started my fascination with flight and machines, but from an early age, I found both very intriguing. I began learning about mechanical systems and construction through tinkering with dead (and sometimes live) appliances and my beloved Lego® sets.”
Pottorff is a graduate from Deming High School who plans on majoring in either electrical or mechanical engineering. “Aside from engineering, I hold a very wide range of interests including art, music and history.”
Both students participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition through which teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules.
The Boeing Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined, has a long-standing relationship with NMSU’s College of Engineering. Since 1995, Boeing has provided scholarships to more than 100 NMSU engineering students. Additionally, the company has provided support for student projects and engineering facilities, and routinely hires NMSU engineering students for internships, cooperative education positions and as full-time employees.