Erin Lane CE ’13 and Andrew Smith ME ’13 each received the Society of American Military Engineers' (S.A.M.E.) Philadelphia Post Scholarship Level III award after being nominated by U.S. Army Captain Russ Watkins, Assistant Professor of Military Science, Villanova Army ROTC. Recipients of this award are recognized during their junior or senior years for distinctive academic achievement, leadership, and citizenship within their military careers. Recipients were recognized during an awards dinner on Wednesday, February 8 at the Union League in Philadelphia.
“It was quite an experience to be among other cadets and midshipmen who devoted time and energy to their academic and military studies in order to receive this award. It was wonderful to be recognized for such an honor and demonstrates that hard work does pay off!” says Lane.
Receiving this award is no easy task for an engineering student with ROTC commitments. “This scholarship is awarded to the top engineering students that are a part of an ROTC program. Receiving it displays how dedicated the students are to the discipline of engineering as well as to their ROTC studies. Being able to balance both engineering and ROTC coursework and be successful enough to receive a scholarship is an incredible feat,” says Capt. Watkins. Students were chosen based on their engineering GPA, ROTC GPA, physical fitness score, and extracurricular activities. Once considered, students are then compared to other ROTC students in the Philadelphia area.
Within the engineering and ROTC course work, junior year is often considered among the most difficult. Engineering students encounter more challenging courses and hone their technical skills, while ROTC students train the entire year for the Leader Development and Assessment Course, a 29-day experience that tests their skills in Army physical fitness, land navigation, and small unit leadership, to name a few.
S.A.M.E.’s recognition of two Villanova Engineers for such a competitive award highlights the caliber of Villanova’s engineering program and the quality of the students it produces. “After three years already under my belt, the Army has become a lifestyle, and my engineering education and Army training have proven that I can conquer any obstacle that comes my way,” says Lane.