Engineering Students Earn Scholarship for Washington University Winter Program

By Caitlin Burns | January 31, 2019

Arcadia University Mathematics and Pre-Engineering students Talha Zaid Kiani ’20 and Muhammad Moiz Saeed ’20 traveled to Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. during winter break to explore university options for the 3+2 program. Each received a new departmental scholarship to fund the experience.

Arcadia offers a combined five-year (3+2) engineering program in affiliation with University of Pittsburgh and Washington University in Saint Louis. At the program’s end, students earn two degrees– one from Arcadia in Chemistry, Mathematics or Computer Science, and one from the associated engineering school.

“I didn’t initially want to go, but since it was funded through an Arcadia scholarship, I thought it would be a good experience,” said Kiani. “After meeting with faculty and students I’ve decided to change from mechanical engineering to computer engineering because it’s more practical and I can have a more hands-on career with it.”

Through the collaborative international mathematics program with Jiangsu University in China, Computer Science and Mathematics Department had a surplus of funds for student research and extracurricular experiences, said Dr. Carlos Ortiz, professor and chair of Computer Science and Mathematics. Kiani and Saeed are the first pre-engineering students to receive the new scholarship for the winter course at Washington University.

“We felt that this initiative was essential to improve the quality and appeal of our pre-engineering program,” said Dr. Ortiz. “The department thus committed to fund two scholarships per year for the next three years.”

Both Kiani and Saeed said the experience has secured their interest in attending Washington University next year, with Saeed noting how students can work with companies at the Cortex Innovation Center, a collaboration community between BJC Healthcare, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Washington University in St. Louis. Microsoft is the newest center to open in the Cortex.

“I really loved the experience,” Saeed said. “We were able to see how the [Washington University] was breaking down barriers between students and companies.”