“It’s never too early to start supporting our future engineers."
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor in the form of a $3.02 million gift, the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science established the Mantei/Mae Award—a scholarship program recognizing the academic performance of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science students in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems.
Fifteen students received approximately $10,000 each from the Mantei/Mae Award to cover educational expenses at the University of Cincinnati. Award recipients include sophomores, pre-juniors, juniors and seniors in the EECS Department. To date, more than 60 students have received the awards.
“As a student at the University of Cincinnati, the co-op program defined my undergraduate experience,” explained the anonymous donor, a successful 1988 College of Engineering graduate. “Dr. Mantei created a legendary environment for learning that blended work experience, outstanding classroom teaching and office hours filled with a welcoming consigliere. Supporting the College of Engineering gives current and future students the same opportunities provided to my class. It’s never too early to start supporting our future engineers."
The award honors one of the donor’s relatives and Professor Emeritus Thomas Mantei, who previously served as the Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Head of the Department. Professor Mantei joined the University in 1981, was named Outstanding Professor in Electrical Engineering by the University chapter of Eta Kappa Nu numerous times throughout his tenure, and was recognized as the 2009 recipient of the Cohen Award for excellence in teaching. He also received the College of Engineering and Applied Science Wandmacher Excellence in Teaching Award and the Engineering Tribunal Outstanding Teaching Award.
“It is a privilege to be honored by this award and to have the opportunity to work with such outstanding students," said Professor Mantei. “The Mantei/Mae Award is made possible by generous gifts from a former student who valued his UC education and believes in paying forward for the benefit of future UC Engineering students. It is a gift that will keep on giving back to our outstanding students."
To qualify for the award, students must maintain high GPAs and be among the top performing students in the Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science programs. Mantei/Mae Award recipients are honored every spring at a recognition ceremony. Several students who have received the award have graduated and continued their careers with companies such as Texas Instruments, Cypress Semiconductor, and Northrup Grumman.
“The Mantei/Mae Scholarship Award was definitely a surprising gift and blessing for me,” said Tyler Wit, student. “As my schooling was winding down and I was soon to venture out into the ‘real world’ and my new job, this award felt like positive affirmation for all the hard work and success that I achieved in the classroom.”
In addition to aiding current students, the award will help not only the future of engineering but also the future of giving at the university.
“This gift will allow us to award scholarships to students each year, for years to come,” said Rod Grabowski, President of the UC Foundation and Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. “This donor has generously contributed to the university for a number of years, and reoccurring gifts like this provide inspiration to both current students and alumni of the program. The graciousness of this donor has inspired other students and alumni to consider how they will give back to the university following graduation.”
Tyler Wit agreed, “I would say that the Mantei/Mae Scholarship Award made me reflect on not only what I had been given, but also what I could potentially give to others like myself who achieved at a high level academically.”
Mantei added, “Following our last award ceremony, a parent of one of the recipients wrote in a letter: ‘[Our son] left last night's awards reception walking on the clouds. What a great example of sharing you gave him last night. He hopes that in his future he can pay back the university by sharing his success.’ Like this parent explained, the donation inspires future alumni to support future students in our program.”
The Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science programs has 522 undergraduate students, 141 masters’ students, and 135 doctoral students enrolled in its programs. Electrical engineering students study design and manufacturing processes for microelectronics, control systems, signal processing systems, and other technologies that impact our daily lives, while Computer Engineering and Computer Science students study the design and analysis of computer hardware and software.
“I am so grateful for the generosity of this anonymous donor in supporting our students at the College of Engineering and Applied Science,” said Interim Dean Teik C. Lim, PhD. “In addition to recognizing one of our college’s outstanding faculty members, it allows our most talented students in the Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science programs to focus on their education and pursue a career in engineering.”