EMSEP Scholars, Contributors Honored at WPI

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass.-WPI's Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Program (EMSEP) honored students and supporters at a awards ceremony earlier this month. In 1993 the university's Multicultural Affairs, Admissions and Academic Advising offices established EMSEP to increase the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students of color at WPI.

The program is a comprehensive network of support services designed to help participants make a smooth transition from high school through to college graduation. It promotes community responsibility, academic excellence, leadership and community service among its members and provides participants with the skills necessary to matriculate through college. In 1995, the program received an Outstanding Institutional Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association.

The inaugural class of EMSEP Scholars graduates this year (Commencement is Saturday, May 24, at WPI). Today more than 80 students participate in the program and contribute to the academic, cultural and social life of the campus and community life through their involvement in honor and professional societies, fraternities and sororities, musical and choral groups, sports and student government organizations and as employees in the university's offices and volunteers with nonprofit and charitable organizations.

"These are people who saw my vision and who met the expectations and exceeded them," said Blanche Pringle, director of Minority Affairs and Outreach Programs, one of the program's founders. Pringle presented the following EMSEP Awards:

Corporation of the Year: General Electric, John Bucci, president and CEO, Genstar Container Corp., San Francisco, Calif., a subsidiary of GE Capital

Administrator of the Year: WPI President Edward A. Parrish

Faculty Member of the Year: Thomas Keil, head of the Physics Department

Organization of the Year: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Andrew Quirk '97 of Bristol, Conn., president

Academic Excellence: Sakis Decossard, a freshman majoring in industrial engineering from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Leadership: Linnette Perales, a junior majoring in chemical engineering with biomedical interests from Las Piedras, P.R..

Community Service: Nicholas Leazard, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering from New York, N.Y.

Scholar of the Year: Luigi Dominguez, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Lawrence, Mass.

Director's Award: Karen Knowles of Worcester, Mass., an educational consultant who has led EMSEP's Personal Development Seminar since the program's inception, and Clarence Plant of Worcester, Mass., a property administrator at WPI.

The following members of EMSEP's freshman, sophomore and junior classes were also honored:

Class of 2000: Lauren Collazo-Davila, a biology major from Reeders, Pa.

Honorable Mention: Kristian Bleasdell, a mechanical engineering major from Jamaica, N.Y., and Monica Ortiz Serrano, a biomedical engineering major from Bayamon, P.R.

Class of 1999: Solimar Santiago, a chemical engineering major from Springfield, Mass.

Honorable Mention: Jose Martinez, a mechanical engineering major from New Haven, Conn., and Joseph Whitley, a civil engineering major from Bridgeport, Conn.

Class of 1998: Prudence Martin, a civil engineering major from Acushnet, Mass.

Honorable Mention: Kara Fram, an electrical engineering major from Pawtucket, R.I., and Andrea Scully, an actuarial mathematics major from Milton, Mass.