Adrian Saenz, Oklahoma State University alumnus, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2019.
Saenz grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma but his family originates from Julimes, Chihuahua, Mexico. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an environmental option from OSU in May 2016, and his master’s in biosystems engineering in December 2018.
“This award is my opportunity to conduct research abroad, to nurture mutual understanding and build networks, and to represent my community while inspiring others to follow their dreams,” Saenz said. “This award grants me two important benefits; first, this award grants me the opportunity to learn ideas, practice new research methods, and simultaneously explore new cultures and trains of thought. Second, the recognition associated with this award opens new networks and career opportunities depending on what direction I choose to take my future.”
Saenz’s research focus is ground water modeling in Panama. The project focuses on building a network of groundwater wells in the country's driest region with the goal of creating a robust model that will provide real-time information on the water resources of that area. A secondary focus is the feasibility of well monitoring networks like this for applications in other areas of the country - ultimately serving as a tool for better water resource management in Panama. Saenz will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Jose Fabrega, Principle investigator at el Centro de Investigaccion Hidráulicas e Hidrotécnicas (CIHH) [Center for Hydrologic and Hydrotechnic Research] at the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá.
“[Saenz] is a highly inquisitive, open minded and motivated individual who possesses excellent technical skills and is a gifted communicator,” said John Veenstra, department head of biosystems and agricultural engineering. “Being named a Fulbright Scholar will be an honor [Saenz] will carry for his entire life and will allow him to interact with others on a global scale while being an excellent ambassador for OSU and demonstrating his great passions to the world. I am very excited to see what [Saenz] accomplishes as nothing possesses more potential that an open human mind.”
The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals. Approximately 370,000 "Fulbrighters" have participated in the Program since its inception in 1946.
“This award would not have been possible without the help of the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and its wonderful network of researchers, faculty, and staff whom helped me meet with Dr. Randy Duran, Director of Research Engagement at Louisiana State University, and eventually communicate with Dr. Jose Fabrega,” Saenz said. “My plans for the future are to finish a year working with the Unites States Army Corps of Engineers, then begin my Fulbright in early spring,” “Afterwards, I can return to work for my company or pursue an advanced degree in a related field of water. I am not 100 percent sure what two years from now will entail. I have several goals and aspirations, but if there is anything that life has taught me it is that opportunity happens when it happens and it’s up to us to be willing to follow new paths.”
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