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SME Tucson Section Awards Student Scholarships

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SME Tucson Section Awards Student Scholarships

Jan. 27, 2014
Mining industry and mining society help UA Engineering students reach educational goals.

The Tucson section of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, or SME, awarded $26,250 in scholarships to 23 mining engineering students at the University of Arizona as part of its fall 2013 annual scholarship fundraiser program.

Tucson SME 2013 scholarship recipients. Top, row 1, from left: Rob Davenport, Tim Busby, David Lawrence, Nick Carouso, Damian Watson, Adrian Patterson. Row 2: Alex Gutman, Mara Erhardt, Peter Mather, David Kijewski, Mario Munoz, Sean Hovorka, Mike Thille. Row 3: Taylor Dawn, Christa Boon, Sarah Beal, Upasna Chandarana, Alyssa Hom. Bottom, row 4: Ashlyn Hooten, Danielle Taran. Not pictured: Andrew DeSantola, Brian Osgood, Gisela Zapata.

In the past three years, industry sponsors have made it possible for the Tucson section to award a total of $112,500 in scholarships to mining engineering students at the UA College of Engineering.

“Mining is the backbone of the U.S. economy and an important piece on the national security chessboard,” said Moe Momayez, associate professor and associate head of the mining and geological engineering department. “By the time this decade is over, about half of the workforce in the minerals industry in the United States will be of retirement age. In the meantime, we have not graduated enough engineers over the past 20 years to close this looming experience gap.”

Momayez said his department’s strategic plan is focused on “educating a diverse student body that represents the best and brightest people at our top-ranked university.” Industry sponsors and both national and local SME sections have a long-standing tradition of supporting mining engineering students at the University of Arizona, many of whom have become leaders in their field, Momayez said. “With the recent increase in enrollment, our graduates are ready to carry on the next generation of American mining.”

The fall 2013 scholarship recipients were:

• Danielle Taran: Newmont exceptional leader; $3,000
• Alex Gutman: Rosemont Copper outstanding leader; $2,000
• Ashlyn Hooten: ASARCO outstanding leader; $2,000 
• Nick Carouso: BHP Billiton special recognition in leadership; $1,500
• Sean Hovorka: Freeport-McMoRan special recognition in leadership; $1,500 
• Christa Boon: Monrad Engineering academic achievement; $1,500
• Mara Erhardt: New Gold academic achievement; $1,000
• Robert Davenport: Stantec academic merit; $1,250
• Sarah Beal, Upasna Chandarana, Gisela Zapata and Andrew DeSantola: special recognition in academics; $1,000 each
• Taylor Dawn: academic merit; $1,000
• Damian Watson and Adrian Patterson: general; $750 each
• Timothy Busby, Alyssa Hom, David Kijewski and Peter Mather: special recognition: $750-$1,000 each
• David Lawrence, Mario Munoz, Michael Thille and Brian Osgood: general; $500-$750 each

Scholarship recipient Ashlyn Hooten is a mining major and geosciences minor. She is an honors student and during the last two summers has interned at Freeport-McMoRan in Sierrita, Ariz., doing mine planning. She is also an Engineering Ambassador, a medic on the San Xavier Mine rescue team, and secretary of the UA student chapter of SME. That’s quite an impressive resume for a college junior, but there can be little doubt that Hooten could achieve so much if she had to work to support herself through school.

“We are all so grateful for the scholarships we receive and it is nice to have the support of SME to help cover the costs of attending school,” Hooten said. The scholarships she gets from SME make it possible for her to focus on her studies and not stress about money or having to get a part-time job, Hooten said. “SME has been so generous with scholarships and I am so thankful for everything they give that allows me to continue to reach all of my educational goals.”

Newmont Mining Corporation and Rosemont Copper Company led the scholarship supporters as Diamond level sponsors, donating $5,000 each. ASARCO, BHP Billiton, Freeport-McMoRan, Monrad Engineering, New Gold, and Stantec were Platinum Level sponsors, each donating $3,000. Atlas Copco, Call & Nicholas, Independent Mining Consultants, Schlumberger Water Resources, Trimble, and Westland Resources were Gold Level sponsors, donating $2,000 each. The Tucson section raised a total of $58,550 from more than 45 industry sponsors. A complete list of scholarship sponsors is available at

“The commitment of our sponsors to supporting education is exceptional, and the Tucson section and students are very grateful,” said Nancy Roth, SME Tucson section chairman. “Industry support is investment in the future. These students stand out today as leaders and high achievers – and we expect them to do great things in their mining careers, too.”