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Heritage University EAGLES scholars selected for prestigious internships nationwide. Application for the coming year’s scholarships close May 3.


Heritage University EAGLES scholars selected for prestigious internships nationwide.  Application for the coming year’s scholarships close May 3.  

Toppenish, Wash. – Recipients of the EAGLES STEM scholarship program at Heritage University have accepted summer internships at prestigious institutions nationwide.

Each year twenty EAGLES scholars not only receive a full-tuition scholarship but also can apply for prestigious internships, research experiences and enhanced learning opportunities through annual career panels at both Heritage and Portland State University. Applications for the EAGLES Scholarship are now being accepted: the deadline to apply is Monday, May 3, 2021.  The application and complete scholarship details can be found at heritage.edu/eagles.

The EAGLES Scholarship program is funded through a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) received by Heritage University and Portland State University (PSU) and supports students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields as well as environmental science, biology and computer science at Heritage and PSU. The scholarship will ultimately be awarded to at least 116 students at Heritage and PSU over the next three years.

Last fall, twenty students joined the EAGLES Scholarship program at Heritage, an initiative to increase enrollment and retention of low-income and under-represented groups in the STEM fields, among others. Heritage Associate Professor Alexander Alexiades, Ph.D. is pleased how this first cohort of EAGLES scholars has embraced the opportunities the scholarship has created for them. “We are very proud of every one of our students, especially those who have shown their potential by earning a lucrative summer internship. It’s a testament to their hard work, and to the EAGLES program, which put these talented students on the path to their current success.”

Alexiades further explained that the opportunities associated with this scholarship can be life-changing. “Earning your college degree is always a significant achievement and opens doors to so much in life. And when you can have your tuition fully paid by a scholarship and complete internships at some of the most prestigious research universities in the country it will open doors not only of opportunity but of possibility.  Once completed, graduates could go anywhere and do anything they have their hearts set on. Every student in the valley intent on earning a STEM degree should be applying for this scholarship.”

The Heritage EAGLES scholars who have secured summer internships so far include:

Angeles Marin, a biology major, will participate in two summer programs. The first is with the Heritage University and Pacific Northwest Partnerships National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (HU PNW NSF REU) under Heritage Associate Professor Dr. Robert Kao, for which Marin will receive a $6,000 stipend. Her research will focus on cell biology and phenotypic analysis of Tetrahymena thermophila. For the second program, she will attend the 6-week Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at the University of Washington. The UW SHPEP encourages scholars to consider, from the cellular to the global level, factors that influence health. Marin will receive a $1,200 stipend for participating in this program.

Colton Maybee, a computer science major, will spend this summer on an internship with Portland State University’s Teuscher Lab, where he will work on a project titled “Computational Modeling Serving the City.” This internship includes two weeks of training in computational modeling, followed by eight weeks of online research overseen by a mentor. Maybee will earn a $6,000 stipend from this internship.

Gustavo Mendez-Soto, an environmental science major, will participate in a Washington State University research program titled “Stakeholder-Informed Innovations in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus.” Students in this program will develop complex systems thinking and system dynamics simulation skills, work with data wrangling workshops, and engage in professional development and team-based exercises through shared activities. Mendez-Soto will receive a $5,400 stipend for this nine-week program.

Anna Diaz, a mathematics major, has been accepted into the Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) at Brown University in Providence, R.I. and will work with Dr. George Karniadakas, who is leading a team to develop cost-effective methods to monitor and forecast ocean acidification using mathematics, physics and machine learning. The program includes activities directed by her faculty mentor, participation in weekly meetings, and a variety of professional development activities sponsored by the Leadership Alliance and the Brown community. Diaz will also attend the Leadership Alliance National Symposium (virtual in 2021) and present her research to faculty and peers. The nine-week program comes with a $4,500 stipend.

Anthony Brooks, a biology major, will support Portland State University’s Department of Environmental Science and Management with a project titled “Determining salt marsh restoration success using focus groups of managers and the public, and past data.” Brooks will receive a $4,300 stipend for this eight-week internship.

Mayra Diaz-Acevedo, a mathematics major, will join the Numerical Analysis research group for the 2021 Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Diaz-Acevedo will receive travel and living expenses as well as a $4,000 stipend for this eight-week internship.

Andrea Mendoza, a biology major, will perform fruit tree pest research with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Moxee, Wash. working with Dr. Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris, research entomologist.

For more information on the EAGLES Scholarship, please contact Julie Conley, EAGLES project coordinator at (509) 654-0297 or conley_j@heritage.edu. To schedule an interview with Alex Alexiades, please contact Davidson Mance, Heritage University media relations coordinator at (509) 969-6084 or mance_d@heritage.edu.


EAGLES Scholars top left to right: Anthony Brooks, Anna Diaz, Mayra Diaz-Acevedo, Angeles Marin. Bottom left to right: Colton Maybee, Gustavo Mendez-Soto, and Andrea Mendoza

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