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Florida Tech Announces Winner of 2018 Farmer Scholarship

Cape Coral’s Travis Rembrandt
to Study Chemical Engineering

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology has named Travis Rembrandt the 2018 recipient of its most prestigious financial award, the Farmer Scholarship.

Rembrandt, 18, of Cape Coral, will graduate in June from the private Canterbury School in Fort Myers, where he has earned a 4.62 weighted grade point average and scored 34 out of 36 on his ACT.

Excelling in multiple Advanced Placement courses, including chemistry, calculus and macroeconomics, Rembrandt was a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society.

“In my 25 years of teaching, I have met very few students who possessed Travis’s unique blend of exceptional analytical skills, irrepressible, intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to discover, to create and to take a challenge,” said Serhiy Pasishnyk, Ph.D., a chemistry teacher at Canterbury School, in his letter of recommendation for Rembrandt to receive the Farmer Scholarship.

Rembrandt’s excellence extended well beyond the classroom, as well.

He won first place awards in several Regional Science Olympiads, played varsity tennis, earned a black belt in Jeet Kune Do at age 14 and volunteered at the Gladiolus Food Pantry in Fort Myers.

Rembrandt said he is eager to get to campus, for several reasons.

“I’m most excited about research, co-ops, and the senior project; basically everything hands-on. I am very glad that Florida Tech emphasizes project based learning because I find that to work best for me,” he said. “I am also excited about the new like-minded friends I’ll meet who come from all over the world. I have never travelled outside the U.S. and would like to know more about cultures from across the world, so I’m looking forward to meeting new people from places I haven’t been to.”

The Farmer Scholars program began in 2009, when Phillip W. Farmer, retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris Corp. and past chairman of the Florida Tech Board of Trustees, donated $1.5 million to establish the endowed scholarship.

The program provides a full, four-year scholarship awarded annually to a Florida resident and high school graduate who is among the top 5 percent of his or her class and demonstrates exceptional academic achievement and outstanding personal character.

Included in the scholarship are all tuition and university fees, a room in Harris Village’s Farmer Hall and the regular university meal plan. Additionally, the Farmer Scholar is given a stipend between the junior and senior years for enrichment through Florida Tech’s summer study abroad program at Oxford University.

“It is my view that Travis is bound to excel in any academic field in which he chooses to concentrate his efforts,” Konstantinos Georgiadis, Ph.D., who taught Rembrandt in AP Macroeconomics, said in his letter of recommendation.  That field will be chemical engineering, which combines two of Rembrandt’s passions. He knew chemistry “was my thing” during his first chemistry class as a high school sophomore, and an AP Chemistry class later became the most interesting course he had ever taken, he said. And from a young age he was fascinated with how things work, disassembling electronics as a kid and later working on projects involving electric cars, hovercrafts, towers, helicopters and robot arms.

“I am interested in applying my knowledge to the field of energy research and development, especially the R&D of solar fuels and biofuels,” Rembrandt said. “I believe my future career will have an impact on the world because cheaper and cleaner energy would help the whole world advance.”

Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay, noting that research benefiting humankind is one of the university’s core principles, applauded Rembrandt’s goals.  “Students at Florida Tech are encouraged to be visionaries, and we look forward to watching Travis flourish here on campus, guided by his own passion and the wisdom of our faculty,” McCay said.

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