Trinity University senior Kristian Journet ’22 , an engineering science major with an electrical engineering focus and a mathematics minor from Lafayette, Louisiana, has been selected to receive a UPS Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Journet is a McNair Scholar, which places him in a prestigious program that “seeks to inspire first-generation, low-income, and other underrepresented students to pursue careers in academia by preparing them for success in doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.”
Journet recently had a conference paper, titled “The Effect of Freespace Properties on Unilateral Stiffness Classification,” published by the International Haptics Conference. Journet worked on this paper in a haptics lab with engineering science professor Emma Treadway, Ph.D. Now, Journet and Treadway are working on another journal paper together that they hope will also be published.
Before attending Trinity, Journet had never been outside of his hometown, so he was seeking to go somewhere that would push him past his comfort zone.
“[I] desperately wanted to experience a new environment,” Journet says. “That combined with Trinity’s excellent engineering program and the charisma of Dr. Mahbub Uddin made me choose Trinity.”
Once he arrived in San Antonio, it was not all smooth sailing for Journet. All students at Trinity take a First-Year Experience (FYE) course, but one in particular begins a couple weeks before the semester. “A Successful Life” is an FYE course designed to help first-generation students and/or students from underrepresented populations adjust to college. It is in this FYE where John Hermann, Ph.D., changed the trajectory of Journet’s life.
“I had a very hard time transitioning into a college mindset. It was with [Hermann’s] help that I was finally able to be tested for learning disabilities, and learned that I was dyslexic at the end of freshman year. I don’t know where I would be today without his continued support,” Journet says. "I owe him so much and I likely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him."
On top of his busy engineering schedule, Journet works part-time at H-E-B as a bagger and parking lot attendant. Journet also tutors high school students in subjects such as physics and mathematics.
Upon graduation in May 2022, Journet plans to apply to the University of Texas at San Antonio for graduate school. Beyond school, Journet wants to become a professional engineer and one day start his own engineering firm, which he knows would be impossible without awards like the UPS scholarship he has earned.
“Winning this award is incredibly meaningful, as it is allowing me to continue my education,” Journet says.
The UPS scholarship is provided by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Foundation and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). Through this program, the ICUT Foundation has awarded $170,250 in UPS Scholarships to 39 students at private institutions across Texas. The CIC is an association of more than 700 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization focused on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility.