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Veteran Receives Inaugural CDR and Mrs. Donald C. Pette Sr. Memorial Scholarship

Ricardo Muñoz, BSEE ’19, has been named the inaugural recipient of the CDR and Mrs. Donald C. Pette Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund established by Dr. Gregory A. Pette and Geoffrey A. Pette, Esq. The scholarship was created to honor the legacy of their grandparents and assist College of Engineering (CoE) students who are active-duty military, military veterans, former military personnel or members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

“I was 12 years old when my mother, sister and I came to the United States from Ecuador. As a high school student in Union City, New Jersey, I was drawn to high-level math and science courses,” said Muñoz. Strongly motivated and intellectually curious, he was committed to solving problems and bringing his creative ideas to life. Muñoz credits his mother and sister who supported him and empowered him to be successful in life.

The Pette Scholarship is helping Muñoz realize his dream of becoming an electrical engineer. After high school and serving eight years in the United States Air Force (USAF), he decided to pursue an engineering degree.  Muñoz continues, “I took a few electronics classes at New Mexico State University and realized this was the path for me. Shortly before separating from the military, I started looking at different universities and discovered UM’s prestigious engineering program.”

Muñoz recently had a chance to meet the Pette brothers and thank them for their generosity. “Being awarded this scholarship has been a tremendous help,” said Muñoz. “I am really grateful for the Pette’s assistance.”

Both of the Pette brothers shared with Muñoz what inspired them to create the scholarship, with the hope that it would provide a strong foundation like the one their grandfather received at CoE. The engineering degree their grandfather received gave him the platform to have a “meaningful and successful career.”

After graduation, Muñoz plans to join the Air Force Reserve and serve in the USAF as a technician or engineer. He also sees an engineering degree as a pathway to making an impact on the world. “Engineering training will provide me the opportunity to volunteer in humanitarian efforts to help others find solutions to their specific problems.”

The scholarship is meant to honor Cmdr. Donald C. Pette, Sr., who served for eight years in the United States Air Force (USAF) and graduated from CoE in 1950 on the G.I. Bill, and his wife Phyllis M. Pette, who also attended UM. Click here to add your support.

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