March 3, 1999
NJIT Defeats Top Schools In Academic Olympiad
NEWARK - March 3, 1999 -
Newark, March 3, 1999 - NJIT has won first place in the National Academic Olympiad, a science competition among Hispanic students from colleges and universities across the country.
The three-member team from NJIT's Hispanic Organization for Science and Technology/ Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (HOST/SHPE) traveled to Los Angeles, Ca. for the competition, held February 3-6. The team was comprised of: Jose Fernando Lopez, a senior in Electrical Engineering from Clifton, NJ, Paul Samaniego, a senior in Mechanical Engineering from Iselin, NJ, and Peniel Ortega, a senior in Chemical Engineering from Union City, NJ.
They faced teams from the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Long Beach; the University of Missouri - Rolla; Vanderbilt University, and New Mexico High Lands University to win by a landslide, with a combined score of 2200 points. UC, Berkeley and UC, Long Beach tied for second place with a total score of 401 points.
"I was not certain that we were going to win," said Ortega. "But we were confident as a team. NJIT's engineering programs gives you a solid, technological education."
The Academic Olympiad is sponsored by the National Technical Career Conference (NTCC), the largest Hispanic engineering and science event in the country according to Jose Rivera, Regional Vice President of SHPE. It brings together over 3000 attendees annually.
This year's conference was the largest in its 25-year history. Companies from across the country attended in search of engineering talent. NJIT's team members were granted interviews for full and part-time internship opportunities with corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Exxon, Boeing, Microsoft, Xerox, Lucent Technologies, IBM, Andersen Consulting and many others.
"Normally you are the one who has to sell yourself when you are looking for a job. When companies heard that NJIT was the winner, they were the ones asking for me," said Ortega.
The Academic Olympiad, sponsored by the National Technical Career Conference, is a "jeopardy-style" competition consisting of two rounds. Questions are assigned a point value based on the degree of difficulty. Players have 15 seconds to answer, and incorrect responses result in point deductions.
NJIT's Hispanic engineering students have made it to the finals of this competition a number of times. In 1997, NJIT earned first place against the University of Kansas, UT, Austin, UC, Long Beach, University of Illinois, Urbana, UC, Berkeley. NJIT teams placed second in both 1993 and 1998.
NJIT is a public research university enrolling nearly 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 76 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation, computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science.