UMass Amherst Engineering Student Wins Fulbright

AMHERST, Mass. - Steven St. Laurent, a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of Massachusetts, has won a Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholarship. He will attend the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Binational Business Administration Program in Mexico, from Sept. 2001 to end of June 2002. He is one of just 10 awardees named by the program.

St. Laurent is the son of Dorothy and Ronald St. Laurent of Hill Top Drive in Leominster. He is scheduled to graduate with the UMass Class of 2001 on Sun. May 27. St. Laurent has an older brother, Jeff, who is also a UMass graduate.

He will live in Monterrey, a city with a population of about 5 million, located in northern Mexico. St. Laurent will work as an engineer for Cementos Mexicanos (CEMEX). The program combines rigorous coursework with practical experience gained through an internship. St. Laurent, who is fluent in Spanish, spent his junior year studying in Mexico. "What excites me is the opportunity to spend 10 months working as an engineer in a company and observing how the new government in Mexico functions," said St. Laurent, who noted that the Mexican president had been elected from the same political party for more than 70 years. "But in July of 2000, Mexicans elected their president from a new political party. This is exciting!" said St. Laurent.

He will receive a monthly stipend, plus travel expenses, tuition and books to attend engineering classes part-time, and will work 35 hours a week. Through his coursework, St. Laurent will earn a diploma in Binational Business Administration. During his internship, St. Laurent will be part of a team of Mexican peers and supervisors.

The governments of the United States and Mexico officially established the U.S.-Mexico Commission of the Fulbright program in 1990. Since its inception, the commission’s primary focus has been the administration of Fulbright-Garc?a Robles scholarships. During the first nine years, 1,700 scholarships have been awarded to Mexican and United States citizens. The awards honor two distinguished public figures, U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, whose vision led to the founding of the program in 1946, and former Mexican Ambassador Alfonso Garc?a Robles, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace.