Engineering Student Receives President’s Award for Minority Doctoral Candidates

Wednesday, November 28 2012


In an effort to promote diversity within graduate education and recruit the best and brightest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the University of Idaho’s President’s Doctoral Scholars Award helps minority students continue their studies and research.

President M. Duane Nellis has named mechanical engineering student Anthony Rey DeLeon the recipient of this year’s award. DeLeon will receive $50,000 annually for three years, which will cover his tuition and fees and provide him a stipend. The scholarship may be renewed for a fourth year.

DeLeon, who is from Filer and is of Hispanic heritage, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Boise State University and completed his master’s degree at BSU with a 4.0 grade-point average. He is studying for his doctorate at U-Idaho’s Boise campus, continuing research he worked on while earning his master’s. Ralph Budwig, director of Boise Engineering for U-Idaho, served on DeLeon’s thesis committee and recruited him to UI Boise.

DeLeon's research involves developing new approaches for wind forecasting simulations on affordable supercomputers to help energy companies predict shortages or surpluses of wind power. He said he is thankful for the chance to continue this important work.

“I feel greatly honored to receive such a prestigious award,” he said.

The Office of the President engages science entities across the university on the program and potential recipients. Included as partners are: Idaho Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, EPSCoR; IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, INBRE; Center for Biomedical Research Excellence COBRE; the Office of Research and Economic Development and the University of Idaho’s College of Graduate Studies.

“This award was established to provide competitive financial support on par with the best
universities in the country and foster opportunities for minority doctoral students in STEM programs at the University of ldaho,” Nellis said. “Our institution is committed to be a leader in science and engineering innovation, a commitment that relies on diversity and multiculturalism to drive that innovation.”

DeLeon is the second recipient of the President’s Doctoral Scholars Award, which is given annually as long as funding is available. Funding is currently provided by Idaho EPSCoR, INBRE, and the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies, or IBEST.
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