Scholar of the Week

Michael Velez      
University of Texas at El Paso

Michael Velez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) working towards his bachelors degree in computer science. He makes up the Class of 2013 HENAAC Scholars receiving a VMWare scholarship for $500.00.

Since a young age, Michael has had a great interest in computer hardware and software; his passion specifically has been towards video gaming. This is one of the main reasons for choosing computer science as his academic career. His dream is to one day develop video games for the next generation of gamers.

As a creative individual filled with fresh ideas, Michael sees himself developing highly successful projects that will help to set high standards at future employers. He is extremely studious and responsible; his academics are clear proof of just that, having earned his associates degree from El Paso Community College while still in high school. He entered his senior year at UTEP with a 3.44 GPA and plans to be the first in his family to graduate at the young age of nineteen.

At UTEP, his professors regarded Michael as someone that demonstrates an excellent level of responsibility and reliability essential for students getting ready to graduate. This is further exemplified by his involvement with his community through interning with Community Scholars Inc. While at Community Scholars he interviewed local and state public policy officials, prepared and published public policy report covering an overview of economic change in El Paso from 1990-2000. This allowed him to present his findings to capital officials in Austin, Texas.

His peers describe Michael as being motivated, meticulous, and extremely engaged in any academic work that is presented to him. He is never one to shy away from tackling academic and professional endeavors that would typically send others running. He has been successful in every situation whenever he has been faced with a challenge. His academics led him to be recognized on the Dean’s List of the College of Engineering and have financially supported his higher education throughout his undergraduate career.

Michael states, “I am fully capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to. Twenty-five years from now, all my dreams including developing futuristic technology and recreational gaming will definitely be within reach.” With this type of motivation, dedication, and attitude, there is no doubt Michael will accomplish his goal of earning his engineering degree and furthermore will be an exemplary STEM professional and role model to the next generation of STEM talent.

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