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Fresno State Alumnus Awarded WRPI Scholarship

September 6, 2013

Category: A Closer Look

The California State University Water Resources and Policy Initiative (WRPI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently selected a Fresno State alumnus to receive the first-ever WRPI/USDA scholarship for post-graduate research.

Irvin Arroyo was selected for the WRPI/USDA Watershed Management Doctoral Scholarship, a new addition to WRPI’s Watershed Management Internship Program. The $40,000 scholarship was created to support underrepresented students pursuing post-graduate study in the food, agriculture and natural resource sciences.

Arroyo earned a bachelor’s and master’s in chemistry at Fresno State, and currently works as a biological science technician for the USDA Water Management Research Unit.

The scholarship will fund his pursuit of a doctorate in Environmental Science at the University of California, Merced. While at UC Merced, Arroyo plans to lead a research partnership with the Department of Water Resources to monitor salinity levels in various Central Valley waterways that are currently utilized by agricultural communities.

“Fresno State prepared me extremely well for my career at the USDA,” Arroyo said. “And I am confident the academic discipline, interactions with fellow students and life skills learned while at Fresno State will serve me well at UC Merced and beyond.”

By participating in various community outreach programs with disadvantaged middle and high schoolers, Arroyo also serves as a role model for local students who may not consider careers in science—or even going to college.

“The first in his family to attend college, Mr. Arroyo overcame unique challenges to get where he is now,” said WRPI Internship Program Manager Julie Lappin. “I am proud of Irvin, and the fact that his success story is already inspiring students to pursue college and careers in the sciences.”

The WRPI doctoral scholarship is a part of a larger program that provides funding for 50 internships per year. The hands-on experience prepares underrepresented students for research and careers in STEM fields. Read more about it here.

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