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June 4, 2007

Senior in civil engineering wins American Dream fellowship

Engin Ayaz, a senior majoring in civil and environmental engineering, has won the 2007 Merage Foundation for the American Dream fellowship, one of 14 graduating seniors nationwide selected for the honor.

Ayaz, who attended high school in his native Turkey and came to the United States for college, hopes to become an architect. He plans to devote the two-year, $20,000 scholarship from the foundation to learn more about the practical aspects of environmentally sustainable building design, a project that will involve spending time in architectural firms around the world.

Ayaz, a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, has passed the certification exam for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Ayaz is the sixth Stanford student to win the fellowship since it was established in 2003 by Paul and Lilly Merage to recognize and reward academically outstanding immigrant students.

Stanford is one of 22 partner universities invited to nominate fellows each year.

Paul Merage, who emigrated from Iran, was co-founder and chief executive officer of Chef America Inc., a frozen food company best known for Hot Pockets brand sandwiches. Merage sold the company to Nestlé in 2002 for $2.6 billion.



Kathleen Sullivan, News Service: (650) 724-5708,


Laura Selznick, special assistant for diversity outreach to the vice provost for undergraduate education: (650) 723-3828,


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