Gene Haas Foundation awards $15,000 in scholarships to Purdue Northwest students

September 27, 2017

Jim Higley, Thomas Radziejeski, Zachary Szymanek, Rachel Hall, Dino Rinaldi, Jesus De La Cruz Jr.

(L-R) Jim Higley, professor of mechanical engineering technology, stands with Gene Haas Scholarship recipients Thomas Radziejeski, Zachary Szymanek, Rachel Hall, Dino Rinaldi and Jesus De La Cruz Jr.

The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded $15,000 in scholarship funds to 13 Purdue University Northwest (PNW) students attending the College of Technology. The students range from freshman to graduate level and all are pursuing careers in advanced manufacturing.

Scholarship recipients include the following: Diego Arranaga and Arturo Arranaga, both of Lake Station, Ind.; Dino Rinaldi and Thomas Radziejeski, St. John, Ind.; Anthony Gwiazda, Dyer, Ind.; Seth Basler, Griffith, Ind.; Jesus De La Cruz, Jr., Hammond, Ind.; Christopher Williams, Gary, Ind.; Rachel Hall, Lowell, Ind.; Joshua Alvarez, Munster, Ind.; Andrew Schmied, Schererville, Ind.; Ryan Zalewa, St. Charles, Ill.; and Zachary Szymank, New Lenox, Ill.

James Higley, professor of mechanical engineering technology, said the scholarships can have a significant impact on a student’s progress. “In some cases a generous scholarship enables a student to attend classes full-time rather than part-time, thus acquiring a degree sooner and shortening the path to a solid job offer,” Higley said.

Jim Higley, Joshua Alvarez, Seth Basler, Diego Arranaga, Arturo Arranaga, Christopher Williams, Ryan Zalewa

(L-R) Jim Higley, professor of mechanical engineering technology, stands with Gene Haas Scholarship recipients Joshua Alvarez, Seth Basler, Diego Arranaga, Arturo Arranaga, Christopher Williams and Ryan Zalewa

College of Technology student projects cover a spectrum of challenges, and successful completion is key to a student’s future success.  “As an example, for students who want to work in the automotive industry, it is essential to have worked on automotive projects like designing and building PNW’s Mini-Baja race car,” Higley said.

Other projects have involved a wide range of equipment including medical devices, night vision goggles, food processing equipment, and small-scale versions of the lunar rovers used by NASA.

The Gene Haas Foundation

Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation Inc. of Oxnard, Calif., established The Gene Haas Foundation in 1999. Haas’ commitment to U.S. manufacturing inspired him to grow his personal foundation to focus on manufacturing education in the form of scholarships.