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Monday, September 25, 2017
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Education & Career Dev.

Sept. 21 - Two Mercer University School of Engineering Students Receive SMART Scholarships from U.S. Department of Defense

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 21, 2017 - Mercer University senior Josephine Mazurkiewicz and junior Michael Gentry were recently awarded Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarships by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Mazurkiewicz and Gentry, both electrical engineering majors, will serve as interns and, later, civilian employees at Robins Air Force Base. They will receive full tuition, an annual stipend and additional allowances while at Mercer for each year they commit to working for the DoD following graduation.

Both students are participating in the School of Engineering’s 4+1 Master of Science in Engineering program that allows them to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees over five years of study.

“Ms. Mazurkiewicz and Mr. Gentry are two of our excellent electrical engineering students, and we are very proud that they have been recognized with the SMART Scholarship,” said Dr. Kevin Barnett, associate professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering. “We believe they will both be excellent engineers, and their participation in this program will continue to enhance the reputation of Mercer University, as well as the School of Engineering’s relationship with Robins Air Force Base.”

Mazurkiewicz, from Valdosta, is a primarily interested in avionics, particularly communications and radar systems. She is a member of Mercer’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and serves as president of the University’s Catholic Campus Ministry. 

“Receiving the SMART Scholarship has been a huge blessing,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to focus more on my studies and enjoy learning, as well as work with the military, which has been a dream of mine. I am very thankful for the support of my family and the Mercer community.”

Gentry, from Bonaire, is primarily interested in analog and digital control systems, theories of electronic communication and software integration. He is a member of Mercer’s robotics club and worked over the summer to help the club develop software to control its inventory of tools. 

“Receiving the SMART Scholarship means that I will be able to pursue a career in electrical engineering in a way that directly helps the people protecting this country and contributes a positive impact to our national defense,” says Gentry. “I hope this experience will help me be a better engineer and a better person.”

The SMART Scholarship for Service Program provides an opportunity for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion. For more information, visit

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