• Matt_s Swirls

The Santos Go Award

In January of 1967, Santos Go became the first doctoral student to enroll in the PSE program when, to focus more fully on polymers, he transferred from the Chemistry Department at the Univ. of Oregon. Santos had earlier received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines (he actually was a citizen of Taiwan, noted on his UMass application as "Free China").

Santos immediately established a precedent that many later PSE doctoral students would strive to match, the passing of the cumulative exams consecutively. His thesis project was conducted under the supervision of Prof. R. W. Lenz, with Profs. Frank Karasz and Fraser Price filling out the thesis committee. In 1972, Santos' thesis, entitled "Crystallization-Induced Reaction of Copolyesters", was accepted, and he was awarded one of the first PSE Ph.D. degrees. Santos subsequently assumed a position with Plastics Technology Department of Owens-Illinois (Toledo, Ohio), and within ten years his prodigious efforts had led to the award of more than 20 U.S. patents to his employer.

Tragically, in March of 1983, Santos died of leukemia. An endowment fund was quickly established through concerted efforts of the PSE department, the Owens-Illinois Company, the Go family, and former PSE classmates. The fund initiated the "Santos Go Memorial Merit Scholarship", to be awarded each year to the most outstanding second year PSE student as judged by scholarly accomplishments accrued during the previous academic year. Factors weighed in selecting the scholarship's recipient include cumulative exam performance, grades, and research initiative.

Many in the PSE department retain poignant memories of Santos, as his graduate career incorporated so many pioneering steps. In 1971, Santos faced deportation as his student visa expired just months before he would complete his thesis. The late Congressman Silvio O. Conte, who would subsequently do so much for the PSE department, personally interceded with the U.S Immigration Service, and a special visa extension was issued.

We all remember Santos Go as a man of great integrity and commitment in his research, his studies, and in his life. It is fitting that, even in death, he inspired a fund to reward these same qualities in others.

Recipients of the Santos Go Memorial Scholarship:

2023 - Karan Sagar

2022 - Yeseul Lee

2021 - Ching Hsien (Justin) Ho

2020 - Takumi Uchiyama

2019 - Hantao Zhou

2018 - Zachary Fink

2017 - Chinmay Saraf

2016 - Sarah Ward

2015 - Qi Lu

2014 - Brendan Ondra

2013 - Ying Zhou

2012 - Sedef Piril Ertem

2011 - Kyle Bryson

2010 - Sahas Rathi

2009 - Samantha McRae

2008 - Hitash Thaker

2007 - Shilpi Sanghi and Xinyu Wei

2006 - Wei Chen

2006 - Elizabeth Cooper

2005 - John Harner

2004 - Edwin Chan and Elizabeth Glogowski

2003 - Qingling Zhang

2002 - Xiaochuan Hu and G. Cardoen

2001 - Y. Lin

2000 - Chris Stanley and Dmytro Nykypanchuk

1999 - Kathryn Wright

1998 - Arun Raman

1997 - Kristi Kiick and Chris Stafford

1996 - Heather Hayes and Gustavo Carri

1995 - Edward Kung

1994 - Wei Chen

1993 - Jim Watkins and Chester Liu

1992 - James Fishburn

1991 - Mark Timmins and Hun-Jan Tao

1990 - Wanda Walczak

1989 - Christian Lietzau

1988 - Timothy Bee and Michael Graff

1987 - Howard Schild

1986 - David Martin

1985 - Joseph Machado

1984 - Charles Bauer

1983 - Peter Kim