Two University of Houston-Victoria students and one alumnus recently received $1,000 scholarships for service to their country and communities.
The Harold & Muriel Berkman Charitable Foundation awarded $1,000 scholarships to Anand Trivedi of Houston, Elizabeth Mesa of Edna and Timothy Smith Jr. of Victoria. All three are U.S. military combat veterans pursuing business careers.
The foundation received about 800 scholarship applications in 2016. The organization evaluated personal statements, need for financial support, volunteer activities and sign of industriousness through accomplishments.
“I was a bit shocked,” Trivedi said. “Receiving this scholarship was a testament to trying instead of automatically assuming I couldn’t do it. It was humbling for the foundation to relate to my journey.”
Trivedi’s family immigrated from India to Houston in the 1980s. Trivedi was born in the U.S. and served his country when he joined the Marines in 2003. He completed a deployment tour overseas. After his deployment, Trivedi received an honorable discharge under medical condition for the injuries he received in the service.
Evaluating choices on what to do after his service, Trivedi decided to pursue his bachelor’s degree in risk management from UH-Downtown. While attending school, he started a wireless store in Southwest Houston.
After a few years, he sold the business and took a job at HP. Then he got interested in the oil and gas industry and decided to go back to school for a Strategic Master of Business Administration He graduated from UHV in December and will use the scholarship for school-related expenses he accumulated.
“Getting an advanced degree was always in the back of my head, and I knew I needed it to be more competitive for jobs in the future,” Trivedi said. “What attracted me to UHV was the personal attention and exemplary professors. It also was cost effective and allowed me to continue to work to support my family.”
The Berkman Foundation awarded more than 50 scholarships to students studying at UHV and other universities accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide earn this mark of excellence.
The scholarships were awarded in two categories. One category was for students pursuing a marketing or business degree with an emphasis on marketing-related pursuits. The second category was for veterans with a special emphasis on those who hold a Combat Infantryman Badge or who were seriously wounded in combat.
Mesa fit both categories. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences with a general business concentration and served in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2005.
“Even at an affordable school like UHV, getting a $1,000 scholarship is helpful,” Mesa said. “School expenses can pile up, and I put my children in day care to come to class. I feel very honored to receive this scholarship.”
Smith is working full time in utilities operations for Formosa Plastics while pursuing a Global Master of Business Administration. With this degree, he would like to be more involved in the business side of operations.
“It’s helped that most of my classes have been online,” Smith said. “It enables me to continue my education. I also like that the school is AASCB accredited. It’s something that’s a big deal in the business community.”
Smith served four years active duty in the Marines. Like Trivedi and Mesa, he was deployed in Iraq. UHV is designated a Military Friendly School thanks to its efforts to recruit and support active military personnel and veterans.
“I want to extend my congratulations to the scholarship recipients,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “They have honorably served our country and now are committed to advancing their education.”