2017-2018 Scholarship Awards Ceremony


Rachel Holanda// SUT-US// December 5, 2017

Society for Underwater Technology Awards Scholarships 2017

Scholarship recipients and SUT-US executive committee members join together for the Scholarship Award Ceremony. 
(Photo Credit: Lise Sieber)

Houston, TX-It was an exciting day for SUT-US’ members attending the annual scholarship awards ceremony. Finally, all of the dedicated volunteer hours to raising scholarship funds for SUT-US have reached fruition as six well-deserving undergraduate and graduate students each accepted a $3,000 scholarship investing in their professional and academic development.

“Thank you, first and foremost, to SUT for not only investing in me as a student, but also for fueling my passion to be a part of an industry that aims to impact the quality of life of people all over the world,” remarked scholarship recipient Natalie Oswalt.

Over 30 events organized by SUT-US this year assisted in raising funds to support the scholarships. Proceeds from SUT committee’s courses, seminars, webinars and networking events among other activities help to fund the society’s school outreach program, student chapter sponsorship, and scholarships. Within the past five years SUT-US, dozens of students have benefited from SUT-US scholarships, and the Society plans to continue and grow the investment.
SUT-US chair and president Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina highlighted his excitement of the night’s program because the event is symbolically presenting the results of all of the SUT-US volunteer efforts to sponsor the brightest and hardest working students supporting their research, education, and service in underwater technology. Additionally, Dr. Medina-Cetina asked each executive committee member, John Allen, Maria Ancheril, Steve Johnson, Christopher Curran, and Earl Doyle, to provide personal and professional advise to awardees. Some of the advice shared at the event by committee member Earl Doyle was to not be afraid of failing and persevering. While executive committee member and former Chair of SUT-US Christopher Curran cautioned awardees about being careful in managing their personal finances even when they experience financially stability.

Dr. Medina-Cetina encouraged the recipients to “not forget all of the individuals that invested and continue to invest in your success from family members, to mentors, janitors, office managers, professors, and all others who freely believed in you to be standing where you are today.”

This year’s scholarship awardees, like the awardees before them, are merited graduate and undergraduates students studying in fields such as subsea engineering, nautical archaeology, ocean engineering, mechanical engineering, and marine engineering technology.

To learn more about this year’s recipients, read their profiles below.

Rachel Holzhauser Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship Recipient
Rachel Holzhauser
Texas A&M University
Ocean Engineering

How does SUT and/or this scholarship help you grow professionally?
“SUT has given me the opportunity to meet and work with industry professionals. I've also had several opportunities for learning outside of the classroom by attending seminars hosted by SUT. Through SUT I have been able to take control of my education...”

“This scholarship lifts a huge financial burden from me and my family and I am grateful for it.”

What are your professional aspirations?
“As an undergraduate student I am trying to keep my options open, especially since ocean engineering is  a field with a lot of diverse opportunities. I would like to see my career move towards offshore project management, particularly in an international setting.”

What about your field and underwater technology interests you?
“I think that the ocean is a largely unexplored frontier, and I am fascinated by how underwater technology tackles the challenges of a dynamic ocean environment. I am really excited to join an industry that confronts obstacles and responds with innovation.”

Marissa Malinoski Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship Recipient
Marissa Malinoski
Texas A&M University
Marine Engineering Technology

How does SUT and/or this scholarship help you grow professionally?
“SUT has taught me a great deal about underwater technology. I have met many professionals in the industry through SUT and learned about their careers and have gained knowledge through talking with them.”

“By assisting me financially…, I can reduce the number of hours I work and devote that time to studying and learning.”

What are your professional aspirations?
“My short-term career goal is to work for a well-established firm where I will gain experience. One area of interest to me is working with AUVs…working with AUVs and possibly creating new technology would be something I would find very fulfilling after I graduate. My long-term career goal would be to attain a managerial position in a global subsea technology company where I would be able to travel to various parts of the world and undertake challenging situations...”

What about your field and underwater technology interests you?
“I am interested in underwater technology because it is constantly advancing and changing. This adaption to new technologies is what caught my attention from the start. The fact that technology is constantly evolving means there is always something new to learn and discover.”


Natalie Oswalt Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship Recipient
Natalie Oswalt
Texas A&M University
Mechanical Engineering

How does this scholarship and/or SUT help you grow professionally?
“As a new member of SUT, I am excited to utilize all aspects of what the organization offers... Interacting with seasoned professionals coming from various walks of life is an extremely unique opportunity that I intend to fully immerse myself in.
“This scholarship will help pay my college tuition in the coming semesters at Texas A&M University. As a student that is completely financially responsible for my college education, I hope to fully express my gratitude towards SUT for investing in my academic journey...”
What are your professional aspirations
"Upon graduation, I plan to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry with a focus in subsea services or operations. I hope to be a part of overcoming technical challenges and new product development, as well as gaining system level knowledge before moving into leadership.”

What about your field and underwater technology interests you?
“While growing up in a small town in Texas, I was never exposed to advanced technology or anything as dynamic as the oil and gas industry. Therefore, after spending the last 10 months as a student engineer at TechnipFMC …, I can’t help but feel encouraged and motivated that I have a role in, and will continue to be a part of, powering the world.”

Devvrat Rathore Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship Recipient
Devvrat Singh Rathore
University of Houston
Subsea Engineering

How does this scholarship and SUT in general help you grow professionally?
“I have been able to greatly enhance my professional network and more so my networking skills by attending SUT events. One of my internships this past summer came about to be from a professional I met at SUT events.“

“The scholarship has freed up some resources which I have now invested in attending national engineering conferences (SASE, SWE) as I search for employment, and I have begun an 8 month long online program on data sciences. Undertaking these will not have been possible without the scholarship.”

What are your professional aspirations?
“In the more immediate future, I hope to be technically involved in the offshore Oil and Gas industry. I plan to develop a career in ‘offshore engineering’, yet not necessarily tied to oil and gas. Other career paths I am giving strong considering are subsea communication, dredging and mining, and offshore wind. The oceans have a lot to offer!”
What about your field and underwater technology interests you?
“Three major drivers that inspired me to work towards a career in offshore oil and gas. One, oceans cover 70% of this planet. The future is going to present a strong need for natural resources, many of which can come from the seabed. Two, India has a strong ambition for local deepwater oil and gas production, being one of the more energy hungry and high population parts of the world, I would hope that I can bring about solutions to meet that need. Three, I enjoy travelling and the international, multi-cultural environment of the industry.”

Luz Zarate Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship Recipient
Luz Zarate
Texas A&M University
Physical Oceanography

How will this scholarship help you grow professionally?
“SUT hosts some of the most interesting events in my field, and very experienced professionals are involved in this society… it is essential to be part of SUT to create strong relationships ...”

“I have learned that having a strong network opens doors; for that reason attending to conferences is one of my priorities at this stage of my career. Attending Oceanology International and some networking events will be the benefits from this scholarship.”

What are your professional aspirations?
“I want to work for the industry and integrate my earth science knowledge with my data analysis skills take a leadership role in decision making to solve scientific and operational problems. With the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), I want to provide a comprehensive visual representation of scientific data for ease of interpretation, promoting the collaboration of stakeholders with different backgrounds."

What about your field and underwater technology interests you?
“I have participated in research cruises where underwater instrumentation is deployed and recovered. Having the exposure to this cruises at an early stage of my training, made me realized that I wanted to be part of those experiments to use the data collected to improve the understanding of the marine environment with applications ranging from research to industry.”

Grace Tsai Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship RecipientGrace Tsai
Texas A&M University
Anthropology-Nautical Archaeology

How will this scholarship help you grow professionally?
“I enjoy exchanging new ideas with others. It inspires me to think outside of the box and come up with new features and applications for the sensor integrated AUV I am working on with my team. I believe attending SUT events and speaking to others who are in the field will benefit myself and the technology, allowing me to incorporate the newest features into the AUV.”

“This scholarship will allow me to complete my education and finish the sensor-integrated AUV project that was just recently launched.”

What are your professional aspirations?
 “I plant to pursue a Tenure track at a top tier research university.”

What about your field and underwater technology interests you?
“... Having participated in the Gnaliç Project, an excavation of a sixteenth-century Venetian galley that sank off the coast of Croatia, the Burgaz Harbor Project, an excavation of Hellenistic harbors in Turkey… I have seen first-hand the challenges that divers in archaeological excavations face compared to terrestrial sites. There is still a lot that can be developed to make diving safer, and to more accurately record data to understand the ocean and the maritime cultural heritage that it holds. My goal is to continue to develop and use these tools to understand cultural heritage better, and aid underwater exploration and archaeological excavations.”

Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship Recipients 2017Scholarship recipients (L-R: Marissa Malinoski, Grace Tsai, Natalie, Oswalt, Rachel Holzhauser, Luz Zarate, and Devvrat Singh Rathore) posed together with scholarship checks in hand at the Awards Ceremony in Houston. 

(Photo Credit: Lise Sieber)


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