Dr. Muhammad Rashid knows from experience what a difference education can mean in a person’s life. As a first-generation college graduate, he sees his own struggles and concerns reflected in many of the students he encounters at Florida Polytechnic University, where he is professor and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department.
That’s why he and his wife decided to make a $100,000 gift to the University to create the Drs. Muhammad H. and Fatema Rashid Future Generation Engineering Scholarship Endowment Gift.
The scholarship will award a minimum of $1,000 to each recipient pursuing a degree at Florida Poly in electrical, computer, or cyber security engineering.
“All the students at Florida Poly are smart and talented and they’re looking for an opportunity,” Rashid said. “Florida Poly is an outstanding place for students who want to excel.”
This isn’t the first time Rashid has made a financial gift to help improve student access to education. In 2018, the Rashids contributed $25,000, creating the Drs. Muhammad and Fatema Rashid Chess Scholarship Fund to help Polk County students with a passion for chess pursue their higher education goals at Florida Poly.
“As an immigrant and a first-generation student, I tell myself the future of my grandchildren will depend on the education of not just themselves, but of their friends,” Rashid said. “The future of this country will depend on the education of these young people.”
Rashid said he has been pleased to hear from students who received scholarships he previously funded, including one student who is eager to graduate and pay the gift forward.
“Drs. Rashid showed me the multiple notes sent by students thanking them for their past support. These former scholarship recipients made a lasting impact on Drs. Rashid, inspiring them to help even more,” said Kathy Bowman, vice president of advancement at Florida Poly. “Can you imagine being the student recipient knowing they are being supported in their higher education journey by the same staff and faculty walking alongside them on this journey?”
Florida Poly Provost Dr. Terry Parker said the University is very grateful for the gift.
“This gift to the University is emblematic of the faith the Rashids have in our students and the academic mission of Florida Poly. In addition to his philanthropic support, he supports the University as a highly valued and effective faculty member,” Parker said.
“Dr. Rashid’s gift shows his commitment to the success of Florida Poly,” he added. “In effect, this gift means that Dr. Rashid is not viewing Florida Poly as his employer, rather as an important institution that will benefit from his support for years to come.”
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