Florida College System selects PBSC student for monthly award
Pedro Borba, a student in Palm Beach State College’s Electrical Power Technology Associate in Science degree program, has received the Chancellor’s Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month award for May.
Each month, one outstanding student from the 28 colleges in the Florida College System is chosen for the award named after the first head of FCS. Borba receives $150 from the Clark Maxwell Jr. Scholarship fund and is featured on the FCS website and in the May newsletter. In addition, he’ll be recognized at the State Board of Education meeting on June 22 at the Palm Beach Gardens campus.
The monthly award honors students who “demonstrate leadership skills, academic success and/or commitment to community service.” Borba has excelled in all three areas.
The Electrical Power Technology program focuses on instrumentation and controls—technology integral to many industries, including power generation and aerospace. When Borba secured a full-time student internship position with Sikorsky Aircraft’s Development Flight Center, he continued to maintain a full course load and a 4.0 GPA. As he progressed through the two-year program, he tutored his fellow students as a supplemental instructor and took time out of his weekends to hold informal tutoring sessions every Saturday at the College. Borba has served as a judge for K-12 competitions like SECME and the Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair and represented PBSC at the Palm Beach County STEM Education Council meeting. He also negotiated vendor discounts for student project purchases and convinced at least two local employers to bring on more interns from the program.
As a Sikorsky intern, Borba stood out. He not only proved capable of performing helicopter instrumentation panel wiring, installation and testing, but through his own initiative, also implemented a graphical user interface (GUI) and switch paneling for a computer system used for airborne real-time data processing and storage. Borba’s ability to successfully apply his academic knowledge in a high-stakes work environment and produce quality results paid off. After his six-month internship, he was hired as an electronics technician with Sikorsky’s Telemetry Group. Borba is currently on assignment on a military ship in the North Atlantic near the Faroe Islands doing testing on Sikorsky helicopters.
Born in Brazil and now a U.S. citizen, Borba earned an A.A. degree from PBSC in December 2014. He graduates from the Electrical Power Technology program in August and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and possibly become a flight test or instrumentation engineer.
“It is my great pleasure to see Pedro Borba honored,” says Associate Professor Oleg Andric, Electrical Power Technology department chair. “He is an example of how hard work, persistence and determination result in great achievements. Pedro’s academic excellence gave rise to his internship at Sikorsky Aircraft, which then became symbiotic: The academic work and internship work fed each other to further increase excellence. This is also an important example of the visibility and attention that high-tech STEM education and careers are receiving in today’s world.”
View Pedro Borba’s e-portfolio and video.