Simpson College (simpson.edu) student Miguel Sanchez received the prestigious George Washington Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service Award as part of the annual George Washington Carver Symposium and Awards ceremony Friday, Oct. 30.
The award is presented to honor the legacy of Carver, who began his collegiate education at Simpson and has a building – Carver Science Hall – named in his honor. Sanchez, a junior double-majoring in mathematics and computer science, received the award during a virtual ceremony hosted by Simpson College.
“At Simpson, you hear a lot about George Washington Carver, especially as a STEM major,” Sanchez said. “He’s a great inspiration and a role model. That’s what drives me. I’d like to have a building with my last name on it.”
Sanchez grew up in Juarez, Mexico and attended the Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, Texas. He chose to attend Simpson because of its academic reputation and enjoys that the faculty challenges him to reach his potential. He aspires to become a software developer.
“It’s very interesting to me how people create things from nothing,” Sanchez said. “That’s what got me into mathematics and computer science – being able to create and understand complex concepts.”
The award is sponsored by the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association, which is a nonprofit cooperating association of the National Park Service at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri.
Sanchez is one of just five students in the country to receive the honor. The other recipients are:
- Natalie Varela, Tuskegee University
- Javelis Marin Castro, Iowa State University
- Collin Ankton, Lincoln University
- Jordan D. Bailey, Kansas State University
Carver was an internationally recognized agricultural chemist, agronomist and experimenter whose development of new products derived from peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans helped revolutionize the agricultural economy of the South. After another college refused to admit him because of his race, Carver matriculated at Simpson, where he studied art and piano from 1890-91. He eventually graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University.
About Simpson College
Simpson College is a private, liberal arts college located in Iowa with campuses in Indianola, West Des Moines and online. Founded in 1860, the college has 1,268 undergraduate and graduate students. Simpson offers 74 majors, minors and programs in addition to three graduate programs. Outside of the classroom, Simpson is a member of the NCAA Division III American Rivers Conference, hosts eight Greek houses on campus and sponsors many extracurricular options for student involvement.
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