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esp graduatesPictured here are three of our first year scholarship recipients of the Undergraduate Engineering Scholars Program who walked at graduation this May. Darby J Van Uitert, Scott Little, and Rebecca Bott received their degrees from the University of Utah College of Engineering in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Bioengineering respectively.

Established in 1999 by Chris Johnson and the College of Engineering, the Engineering Scholars Program is a scholarship opportunity for incoming freshmen interested in aspects of engineering and computer science. The quest of the ESP is to leverage the exciting engineering-based research at the University by exposing the first year students to actual research activities. The addition of a research component to the first year student's experience allows the student to see over the horizon offered by prerequisite courses. By giving the first year student a more in-depth look into engineering we propose to increase the enthusiasm level of the students with the result being significantly improved retention rates. Higher retention rates translate into a larger and better-trained graduating class of much-needed engineers and computer scientists.

These students are the best and brightest with an average GPA of 3.96 and an average ACT score of 31. Now in its fourth year, the number of scholarship recipients has increased from nine in 1999 to fifteen in 2002.