January 23, 2009

Engineering students win IDOT scholarship

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Three engineering students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are among an elite group statewide receiving a scholarship from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The Office of the Governor recently announced the recipients of the IDOT Civil Engineer Scholarship Program. This is the first time the state has awarded such a scholarship.

Federal transportation dollars fund the new scholarship, which is aimed at increasing diversity and quality among IDOT’s engineering staff. The scholarship provides up to $7,000 per academic year, with recipients qualifying for $3,500 this semester.

Statewide, 19 university students will receive the scholarship. SIUC recipients include:

• Nathaniel R. Lowman, a freshman from New Lenox

• Eric E. Prichard, a sophomore from Morton

• Toni D. Whitfield, a junior from Johnston City

Sanjeev Kumar, chairperson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at SIUC, congratulated the students, who he said represent the future of their field.

This scholarship recognizes the contribution of civil engineers towards our nation’s economy and the role they play in providing good health, safety and comfort to the public,” Kumar said. “We are using this scholarship to attract more students into our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department program. We are also taking measures so that more SIUC students compete for this excellent scholarship.

Civil engineering students who are Illinois residents and admitted or enrolled full-time at select Illinois colleges and universities are eligible for the scholarship. Recipients might receive the opportunity to work for IDOT during summer breaks and could earn full-time employment with the agency upon graduation.

“Civil engineers are a key component in the construction of our bridges and in building safe roadways for the motoring public,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees. “I would like to congratulate the award recipients and with them continued success on their educational journey.”

For more information and to obtain an application for the fall 2009 semester, go to www.dot.il.gov/scholarships.