Qualifications for this award include personal integrity, initiative, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, humility, well-rounded interests, active participation in student affairs, service to the University, willingness to give more than required, and love of God and country.
Namrah Habib, of Tucson, Arizona, will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.
During her freshman year, Namrah fell in love with space exploration through her involvement with the University of Arizona’s Space Exploration and Development club (UASEDS). A position on the UASEDS microgravity team helped her obtain an internship with the Image Processing Working Group on the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission. Namrah helped to establish a stereo-imagery lab, developed image processing algorithms, and co-authored several publications and presentations for the mission.
Namrah’s involvement with the OSIRIS-REx mission further fueled her passion for space exploration and inspired her to explore the field through additional internships at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Glenn Research Center. Additionally, Namrah led the first University of Arizona team to the Hyperloop Pod Competition hosted by SpaceX. Amidst her busy schedule, Namrah practices kickboxing and holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and competes at local and national levels.
Namrah is passionate about introducing STEM to girls and the Tucson community. As a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, Namrah volunteers with fellow members to participate in service events that give back to the Tucson community. Through the UA’s Women in Engineering Programming Board, she has worked to develop and execute college-wide programs aimed at recruiting and retaining women in engineering.
Namrah is a 2017 Astronaut Scholar and has received numerous merit-based scholarships and academic awards from the University of Arizona’s College of Engineering and Honors College. Additionally, Namrah was recognized by the Aviation Week Network as one of the Top 20 Leaders of Tomorrow. Selected as a 2018 Churchill Scholar, Namrah will spend the 2018-2019 academic year pursuing a Masters of Philosophy in Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, and subsequently will return to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D.
Jose L. Rios-Monterrosa
Jose Rios-Monterrosa will graduate Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree, with majors in Biochemistry and Molecular/Cellular Biology. Born in Los Angeles, California, Jose moved to Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 6. During his four years at the University of Arizona, Jose has shown an incredible commitment to his education, his research, and his community.
Jose’s strong desire to make a difference in his community stems from his early years in California. Growing up, many of his family members had no health insurance and relied on free medical clinics for their care. Seeing firsthand the impact these programs can make on people’s lives inspired Jose to volunteer with organizations that provided healthcare for underserved populations and to pursue a career in medicine.
In 2014, Jose began volunteering with the Mobile Health Clinic which provides free medical care to uninsured patients. In addition, he joined the Flying Samaritans; a student club that runs a free medical clinic every month in Agua Prieta, Mexico. After serving for two years as the Director of Translation and Interpretation for the club, he was elected as a Co-President for the 2017-2018 school year. Over the summer of 2016, Jose volunteered in rural hospitals in Peru with the non-profit organization Vive Peru. He has continued his work with the organization and is currently serving as the Head Campus Coordinator for Vive Peru at the University of Arizona.
Through his work with Dr. Victor J. Hruby, Jose developed a strong passion for science. He was accepted into the Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) for the summer of 2017, providing him the opportunity to work full-time on his research projects. Later that year, he obtained funding from the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO), an extension of the National Science Foundation, to continue his research during the school year. Jose presented his work at the 2018 UBRP Conference, the 2018 WAESO Conference, and was a guest speaker at 2018 Biological, Engineering, and Chemical Undergraduate Conference.
After graduation, Jose will further his education by attending medical school at the University of Iowa.