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April 11, 2002 Electronic commerce courses get a boost from Quebec



by Sophy Khwaja

When an endowment was made as part of the university’s recent capital campaign to establish the Norman D. Hébert Master’s Fellowship, the idea was to award a single student annually based on academic merit and financial need.

The second recipient of the award, for 2001-02, was Girish Parvate-Patil, who started his master’s of applied science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering last September. He donated some of his $4,100 scholarship to create endowments for students in their final year of engineering studies at his old college in India, Kolhapur Institute of Technology College of Engineering (KIT).

He established three annual awards, one in the name of his parents and the other two named after friends. The awards of 1,000 rupees, equivalent to $35 Canadian, may sound modest to us, but will be very helpful to the recipients.

“This is how the mechanism of good things and positive contribution works,” Girish said. “One person starts by contributing to humanity and the link continues endlessly.”

Hébert, a 50-year veteran of the automobile industry, belongs to the Rector’s and Millennium Circles, two gift societies recognizing Concordia’s elite donors. The Hébert fellowship is awarded to full-time mechanical engineering graduate students specializing in automotive engineering.

Parvate-Patil’s interest in automobiles was a childhood passion. His undergraduate project on internal combustion engines in India led to the nomination that brought him to Concordia, where he is researching solenoid operated intake and exhaust valves with position feedback.

When they heard about his gift to his old school, Girish said, “all the professors and my parents were full of joy. But trust me, I am not worrying about the reaction of the people, I want to encourage the students to do their best. I may go back to present these awards some time in future, but it is not possible for me to go every year. My friends will present these awards on my behalf.

“In India, I always thought about making a positive contribution to my own country. Now I feel like I am a citizen of the world. The world is my country, and I want to contribute to it endlessly, as Norman Hébert is doing.”

A version of this article by Sophy Khwaja appeared in the Engineering and Computer Science quarterly.