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It was research with purpose for this first-generation student and Powell Scholar.

May 9, 2018

Nasser Saleh

Nasser Saleh '18
Mechanical Engineering major | Stockton

Attending college was a lifelong dream for Nasser Saleh. As the son of Lebanese immigrants, he is the first in his family to get a college education. Concerned about the cost of an education, one of his middle school teachers suggested that if he performed well in school, he could get scholarships to help pay for college. He used those words as motivation to get through countless hours of studying.

His hard work paid off.  Not only was Nasser accepted to the Pacific's School of Engineering and Computer Science, but he was also selected as a Powell Scholar. Powell Scholars receive the university's premier academic scholarship for high achieving students.

"I remember opening Pacific's letter as my mom stood next to me.  She cried tears of joy as we read it together," remembers Saleh.  He had the financial support he needed to attend his top choice university and become part of a transformative academic program.

The Powell Scholars Program inspired him to leverage his education and provided him with the support and opportunities to do so. He worked on a Powell Scholar project for two years developing a microgreen growing system that helps communities suffering through drought grow produce during the winter. The project served as a learning tool for schoolchildren as well.

Studying at Pacific helped Saleh find his purpose. A cooperative education internship with Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine, California, propelled his desire to design new medical test methods to improve patients' health.

"The education I received and experience I gained at Pacific helped me discover a passion that I did not know existed, in a field where I can directly improve people's lives," said Saleh. "I dream of someday pointing to someone's heart and knowing that I worked on the device that keeps it beating."

After graduation, Saleh began a new position as a Research and Development Engineer at Edwards Lifesciences, where he will help design heart valve therapies that improve and save lives.

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