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Oklahoma State University

Going Across the Pond

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five Oklahoma State University students are heading to Cambridge University in the United Kingdom for their graduate degrees. From left, they are: Philip White, Eric Gilbert, Eric Ruhlmann, Kathleen Nelson and Peter Storm.

While Oklahoma State University usually sends only a student or two to Cambridge University in theUnited Kingdom, five students from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology are headed across the Atlantic Ocean this fall to begin coursework on their master’s degrees at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The five  — four from the W.W. Allen Scholars Program and one CEAT scholar — were part of a limited number of American engineering students pursuing a graduate degree at Cambridge. 

The students are Eric Gilbert, industrial engineering and management graduate from Edmond, Okla.; Kathleen Nelson, mechanical engineering graduate from Oklahoma City; Eric Ruhlmann, mechanical engineering graduate from Oklahoma City; Peter Storm, biosystems engineering graduate from Stillwater; and Philip White, mechanical engineering graduate from Edmond. 

“I have been lucky enough to visit Cambridge three times, and there is no other place I would rather want to continue my education” says White. “The atmosphere there is conducive to intellectual thought and collaboration, and the resources there are second to none.”

OSU’s CEAT students represent nearly a fifth of the American engineering graduate students admitted to Cambridge this year. 

“Since Cambridge is one of the top universities in the world, their acceptance is a wonderful achievement for our students as well as OSU,” says Wayne Allen, former chairman and CEO of Phillips Petroleum Co. and founder of the W.W. Allen Scholars Program. “We have a world-class engineering program with the Allen Scholars, and it attracts the best of the best.”

Students who participate in the program are some of the highest-achieving at Oklahoma State. They consistently demonstrate their dedication to their education by maintaining high grade point averages and serving in leadership roles in such organizations as the CEAT Student Council, Student Government Association and President’s Leadership Council. 

Each will be pursuing a master’s degree and have selected a specific area of emphasis unique to their passions and career goals, ranging from industrial systems — manufacturing and management to engineering for sustainable development and technology policy. 

“The Master’s in Philosophy for Sustainable Development program will give me an education I could not attain anywhere else,” says Kathleen Nelson, mechanical engineering graduate and CEAT Scholar. “It will provide me with a background in environmental policy, management skills and provide a knowledge of sustainable development, which will lay the groundwork for me to achieve my professional goals.”

CEAT students consistently prepare themselves for advanced degrees and careers after graduation. Many benefit from scholarship programs through the college, specifically designed to build soft skills and participate in cultural experiences. 

CEAT Scholarship Coordinator Amanda Williams says those in the undergraduate scholarship programs are the leaders of the college who participate in student organizations and represent the college throughout the university. 

The W.W. Allen Scholars Program, W.W. Allen Boys and Girls Club Scholars Program and CEAT Scholars Program are all options for incoming freshmen.  The high requirements for eligibility attract top students. Financial support offered through the programs allow students to focus on their coursework, leadership activities, professional development and cultural trips instead of trying to balance academics and a job. 

“These students really care about the college and their careers,” Williams says of those admitted to Cambridge. “They want the same experience for the younger generation, and they encourage the underclassmen to learn what they did and teach them to pass it along.”

The succession of passion from the graduating group of scholars to those still beginning their college career promises to produce more students striving to set the bar high and reach their goals. 

For more information on CEAT scholarship programs, visit

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