Writer: Lorena Sánchez
Only 295 students out of 30,000 applicants are chosen to receive the Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation scholarship and Tyler Johnson, a New Mexico State University engineering major, was one of them.
Johnson is pursuing a degree in engineering technology- civil and a minor in renewable energy. The SMART scholarship gives students studying mathematics and science a way to pay for their education, books, and provides internship opportunities and future employment. SMART scholarships are sponsored by DOD agencies and laboratories. Johnson was chosen by the Army Corps of Engineers.
“I researched scholarships. I have had internships since high school. I work 40 hours a week and go to school full time. It’s hard paying for school out of your own pocket,” Johnson said.
The application process for the scholarship requires students to send in a resume, fill out additional required paper work, submit an official transcript, pass security clearance, essays, and submit multiple letters of recommendation.
“I feel like it’s going to give me a lot of experience. It gives me a chance to get my professional engineer’s license. Coming from the Army Corps of Engineers, it gives me the chance to get my foot in the door with the Department of Defense. It sets me up for a job as a professional engineer, licenses and further education,” Johnson said.
During the application process students are able to choose several options of where they would like to be placed for their summer internship.
“They let you pick three regions you like. They look at you resume, experience, and degree and put you in the region they feel needs you most. I got picked for Hawaii. Next summer my internship will be in Pearl Harbor,” Johnson said.
This coming summer, Johnson’s internship will take him to Honolulu where he will be doing projecting engineering on a new hospital under construction. Johnson, currently a junior, said that after he receives his degree he will work with the Army Corps of Engineers for two years, which is one of the requirements of the scholarship. As an engineer, Johnson would like to work on disaster relief, structural design and analysis, and design layouts.
“Tyler is a motivated, enthusiastic student. He is actively involved in the Associated General Contractors student organization. He will lead a team to Reno Nevada this February to compete in the regional bidding competition. Tyler is progressing very admirably in his coursework,” said Sonya Cooper, engineering technology professor.