InsideODU: News for Faculty and Staff
Monday, September 17, 2012


Polinho Katina is congratulated by Mike McGraw, ILR vice president and chairman of the Scholarship Selection Committee.
Institute for Learning in Retirement Awards Scholarship to Doctoral Student in Engineering

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at Old Dominion recently presented its Graduate Scholarship Award to Polinho Katina, a doctoral student in engineering management and systems engineering.

The award, which is open to graduate students in any discipline, is $1,500 per semester for two academic years, for a total of $6,000.

Katina, who expects to complete his Ph.D. in May 2014, immigrated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States in 2000 to escape dire circumstances.

One of seven children, he became the first of member of his family to graduate from college. He earned an A.S. degree in natural and physical sciences from Piedmont Virginia Community College, followed by a B.S. in engineering technology from ODU in 2009 and an M.E. in systems engineering from ODU in 2011, with a 3.97 GPA.

Katina, who became a U.S. citizen in 2008, has worked hard to overcome issues related to language, culture and finances since coming to this country. He hopes to pursue a career in higher education at a major research university and wants to be a role model for less fortunate students, to show the results that perseverance, hard work and passion can bring.

The focus of his current studies is on the development of advanced approaches and technologies to deal more effectively with some of society's most vexing problems, including health care, energy, transportation, education and national security.

Katina works as a graduate research assistant for ODU's National Center for System of Systems Engineering and is a GTA with the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering. He has authored several papers for publication in professional journals.

The ILR Scholarship Selection Committee members were very impressed with his personal history, academic accomplishments and life goals. The institute has invited him to teach a class to its members.

Sponsored by ODU and headquartered at the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, the ILR is affiliated with the university through an MOU to collaborate and support outreach to lifelong learners in the local community. The ODU institute, which is affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network, has approximately 700 members.

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