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Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise Candidate Awarded Ambassadorial Scholarship

Mary Dinh plans to use the $27,000 grant to pursue her studies in a developing country

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise announced that its candidate, Mary Dinh, has been selected out of 72 clubs by the Rotary District 5240 Scholarship Committee to receive an Ambassadorial Scholarship grant of $27,000.

This grant will allow Dinh to continue to pursue her study in a developing country in Liberia, Malawi or Kenya. Her preference is to work for a nonprofit group, Liberty & Justice, utilizing her engineering skills to solve manufacturing problems while learning about this group’s unique business model aimed at empowering disadvantaged Liberian women.

She would like to mentor engineering students at the University of Liberia to step into manufacturing engineering positions at Liberty & Justice. Dinh would also like to work with Rotary projects that address basic human needs such as water, lighting or clean cook stoves, where she can contribute her engineering skills and field experience.

Dinh’s parents were both refugees of the Vietnam War who immigrated to Flint, Mich., when she was a year old. Dinh earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UC Berkeley in mechanical engineering. She went on to work as a research and development engineer with Guidant Corporation and then taught physics for 18 months at Wenchi Secondary School in Ghana, West Africa.

Dinh has been a development engineer at UCSB since 2002 where she started a chapter of Engineers Without Borders. With EWB she has implemented projects in Peru, Kenya, Thailand, Mexico and Maili. Starting this fall, Dinh will pursue a master’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins.

While supporting EWB’s efforts during the past nine years, Dinh developed a close working relationship with RCSBS in 2004. RCSBS helped support a number of EWB’s projects, most recently in Kenya. In 2007, RCSBS awarded Dinh a Paul Harris Fellow, she was also sponsored as a Group Study Exchange team member to India in 2008.

Dinh is part of the RCSBS family and will always be welcomed to share her stories of her continuing journey. We are proud in what she has accomplished and know she will continue to make her mark on the world as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Click here for her autobiography and “Statement of Intent.”

Ambassadorial Scholarships are awarded annually to grad students to study abroad for one year. Selection is based upon an interview/application competition.

— Betsy Munroe is the public relations chairwoman for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise, which meets at 7 a.m. Wednesdays at the Santa Barbara Club, 1105 Chapala St.

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