Four Graduate Students Earn Miguel Velez Scholarships

Engineering graduate students (clockwise) Jose Alejandro Santamaria Rodriguez,  Arturo Meza, Angel Balam Benitez-Mata and Debora Yumi De Oliveira have received Miquel Velez Scholarships.

Feb. 17, 2022 – Four graduate students from the UC Irvine Samueli School of Engineering have won the Miguel Velez Scholarship for 2021-2022. They are among the 14 UCI awardees announced by the Graduate Division.

The Miguel Velez Scholarship provides financial support to graduate students who demonstrate outstanding past academic achievement as well as future promise, have financial need and who are citizens and residents of a Latin American country. Preference is given to citizens of Colombia. The scholarship provides resident fees and a stipend of $7,000.

“There were a number of impressive submissions and it gives me great joy to see the outstanding things our scholars are doing on a daily basis,” wrote Gillian Hayes, UCI vice provost and dean of the Graduate Division, in an email announcing the awardees.

This academic year’s engineering recipients are:


Angel Balam Benitez-Mata 

Angel Balam Benitez-Mata

Biomedical Engineering

Adviser: Michelle A. Digman


Arturo Meza 

Arturo Meza

Materials Science and Engineering

Adviser: Julie M. Schoenung


Debora Yumi De Oliveira 

Debora Yumi De Oliveira

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Adviser: Jasper A. Vrugt


Jose Alejandro Santamaria Rodriguez

Jose Alejandro Santamaria Rodriguez, Angel Balam Benitez-Mata, Arturo Meza, Debora Yumi De Oliveira and Angel Balam Benitez-Mata

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Adviser: Bihter Padak


– Tonya Becerra