For Robert Krochmal, a junior computer information systems major at A&M International, moving from Houston to Laredo was not easy at first.
Krochmal, who relocated to the city with his family last year, said he was worried he would not fit in with the rest of the students on campus.
"It was hard. I didn't speak Spanish, I didn't know anyone and moving meant finding new places to go and new things to do," he said.
The energetic 20 year-old, however, did not give up. In order to keep active both academically and socially, he became involved as a student orientation leader, became an officer of the campus Judo Club and joined the Student Systems Group.
His efforts paid off.
This week, Krochmal, who maintains a 3.4 overall grade point average and a 4.0 in his major studies, received a $1,500 scholarship award from the San Antonio chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, the leading professional organization for members of the information systems profession which sponsors A&M International's student chapter.
The James Herriott Scholarship recognizes students' professional, personal and academic achievements.
Krochmal said keeping a healthy balance between social and academic activities has helped him succeed. He added he now feels at home on campus and has formed strong friendships with fellow students.
"I would tell people in similar situations to get involved. When I was in Houston, I wasn't in any club. Here, I joined two clubs and I know a bunch of people. It also helped me get better grades and I feel better," he said.
He also thanked Dr. Stephen Lunce, associate professor of information systems, for encouraging him to apply for the scholarship.
"The faculty here really care about how the students do," Krochmal said.
Krochmal said he plans to pursue a master's degree in information systems and land a job in either the computer gaming or entertainment industries.
"In the meantime, I would like to join one more club. I want to keep doing the things I'm doing right now, stay involved, get a job," he said.
For further information, please contact Dr. Lunce at 326-2502. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.