Sophomore Receives SMART Scholarship from U.S. Department of Defense


MACON – Mercer University sophomore John Morgan Ramirez has been awarded a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Ramirez, a mechanical engineering major from Simpsonville, South Carolina, will serve as an intern and, later, a civilian employee at Robins Air Force Base working with the U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center, which is headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

He will receive full tuition, room and board, an annual stipend and additional allowances while at Mercer for each year that he commits to work for the DoD following graduation. He will also be able to participate in summer internships at DoD laboratories.

“We are celebrating with John this SMART Scholarship that will provide resources to complete his engineering studies as well as internships to launch his career,” said Dr. Wade H. Shaw, dean and Kaolin Chair of Engineering. “John is an outstanding example of the skills and work ethic of our students, and we are proud of his award.”

“When I applied for this scholarship, honestly, I was not expecting to receive it,” said Ramirez. “I never thought that I could get such an amazing award. God has blessed me in more ways than I can count, and this is just another way he has chosen to glorify Himself. I do not see this award as something I have earned; rather, it is a testament to God's faithfulness and work in my life.”

Ramirez is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Golden Key Society. He has received awards at the University's annual Honors Convocation for his high academic achievement in mathematics as a freshman and sophomore and general physics as a sophomore. He is active in Baptist Collegiate Ministries and enjoys fishing, particularly the saltwater variety.

The SMART Scholarship for Service Program provides an opportunity for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion. For more information, visit

About the School of Engineering

Mercer University's School of Engineering, founded in 1985, offers innovative and academically challenging programs that provide students with a comprehensive education, featuring a solid foundation in mathematics and sciences, a core engineering curriculum, a range of courses in engineering specialties and a strong emphasis on communication technologies. The School is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top three master's-degree-level engineering schools in the Southeast. Known for its breadth of instruction in its undergraduate program and its five-year joint bachelor's and master's degree program, the School combines technical education with hands-on laboratory experience. Mercer engineers can look forward to joining fellow alumni in companies such as Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, Lockheed Martin, Georgia Power, Siemens and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.