Scholar of the Week

Austin Cruz      
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Austin Cruz is a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He is a recipient of the $1,900 HENAAC/Dow Chemical scholarship for 2014-15.  

Austin is very goal-oriented.  He is also very competitive, which motivates him to achieve. He is a Chancellor's Scholar, Leadership in Engineering Excellence and Diversity Scholar, and General Mills Scholar.  The first semester at the University, he made the Dean’s List with a 3.77 GPA.

The Chancellor's Scholar Program is a four-year merit-based undergraduate scholarship program that enriches the collegiate experience of underrepresented students.  In addition to full-tuition and a semester book stipend, scholars engage in on-going academic advising and individual support services, mentoring, leadership skills development, and monthly meetings with their scholarship class. As part of the program, Austin leads the social community efforts.  

In the summer of 2012, Austin interned with British Petroleum, located in Carson, CA.  He worked as a member of the Facility Inspection Team (FIT) and read construction blueprints in order to update details in the database, and created new isometric drawings in AutoCAD for piping inspections.

Austin is described by his peers as being very creative and innovative when he is passionate about something.  In fact, he created his own war strategy game, and he is still continuing to change and improve it. He also created a game where you try to tag each other with Frisbees.  Austin's innovation and passion for engineering also led him to become part of the ASME Human Powered Vehicle team. He along with a few others designed and made an aerodynamic bike fairing, which the team raced the bike in Florida.  Though the team did not win, he remains optimistic about next year.

An emerging STEM leader, Austin has the drive to succeed.  Already he was admitted to one of the top three chemical engineering programs in the U.S., has attained an internship, is part of several leadership groups, and is involved in student organizations.  Austin demonstrates a tremendous amount of intellectual and leadership potential, who welcomes challenge as an opportunity to foster his own growth.

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