Jason Polendo
Jason Polendo

UTSA Spotlight: UTSA student awarded pre-doctoral fellowship

By Hector Benavides
Student Writer, UTSA '05

(Sept. 16, 2005)--UTSA student Jason Polendo has been selected to participate in the NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program. He is a doctoral candidate in the UTSA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Polendo is studying advanced manipulation of nonlinear dynamic systems. On completion of his doctoral degree, Polendo will pursue either a teaching position or work for NASA.

"My interests generally lie in dealing with what I call 'natural' nonlinear systems, where the systems are of a biological or quantum mechanical origin like those in nature," he said.

He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from UTSA in 1999 and pursued graduate studies at Southern Methodist University before returning to UTSA in 2002 to begin his doctoral program in electrical engineering. His engineering work experience includes time with NASA as an undergraduate research scholar, Alcatel USA, Intersil Corporation and Southwest Research Institute.

The Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program provides underrepresented full-time graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with financial support for their education in NASA-related disciplines. The program present only 20 awards to graduate students each year; competition for the awards has increased recently with nearly 700 applications for the 2005 award.

The mission of the program is to increase the number of women, minorities and persons with disabilities participating and receiving degrees in STEM disciplines. The fellowship is an award of at least $32,000 per year for three years, which includes a stipend and tuition. Additionally, the fellowship includes a NASA mentor initiative with the purpose of furthering the fellows' relationships with NASA and the research community.

For more information, visit the Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program Web site.

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