The Power of Mentoring First-Generation and Non-Traditional Students

Scott Newin grew up watching his parents work 12-hour days to provide for his family. He respected the sacrifice his parents made for him and soon adopted their strong work ethic. No one in his family had a college degree, and Scott hadn’t considered pursuing one either, until he met Ron Mortimer from the board of directors at a local engineering firm, Horrocks.

 

At the time, Scott was working at a bank, as well as working part time on automotive repairs. During his time in the automotive industry he made several repairs on Ron’s vehicles, and the two formed a professional relationship. Ron recognized Scott’s potential and

encouraged him to apply for an internship at Horrocks.

 

“Ron taught me that with my work ethic, skill, and problem-solving I was meant for more. He pushed me to see that there was another world working instead of with your hands but more mentally designing things. He helped me realize that you can have a family and be a part of that family and still be able to provide for them. My dad would always say, ‘Pick your career before it picks you.’ Well, Ron gave me direction to pick the career I wanted. He gave me insight into what it was like to be an engineer, and he helped me in the rough times of school life and personal life,” Scott Newin said.

 

Scott successfully interviewed for the internship at Horrocks, where he later decided to pursue a degree in civil engineering. He initially applied and was accepted to the civil engineering program at the University of Utah. It was around this time that he connected with UVU’s Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, Saeed Moaveni.

 

“Saeed helped me realize that the staff at UVU [was] more dedicated to the student’s well-being than

research, that the UVU program was going to show and teach students at a personal level. I felt this day one with the staff,” Newin said.

 

Scott graduated from the civil engineering program in 2020, as a non-traditional and first-generation student. He credits his parents for the work ethic they installed in him through their example, and the support of Mortimer and Moaveni. He says that without this support, he never would have pursued a degree in civil engineering.