Mines engineering physics student Brandon Tortorelli was recently awarded the CSMAA Melville F. Coolbaugh Memorial Senior Award.

(Photo Credit: Kurtis Griess)

The award is a prestigious financial award given since 2007 in honor of former Mines President Melville F. Coolbaugh. It is awarded to a high-achieving student who demonstrates financial need and is graduating within the academic year. The recipient is perceived as being someone who will ‘make a positive contribution toward upholding the image and enhancing the reputation of Mines after graduation.’

Tortorelli, who (in addition to his academic load) is involved in the CSM Rocket Club, serves as an international student mentor and volunteers as a STEM teacher with the Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club’ has the potential to do just that.

‘I mainly teach fun, hands-on, interactive lessons about space science to underprivileged students in the Denver area,’ he said. ‘I do this with the hope that I can influence some of these students to pursue careers in STEM fields, possibly at Mines, by exciting them about cool new scientific fields and informing them of financial opportunities that can allow them to reach for the stars.’

Tortorelli is a previous recipient of the Boettcher Foundation Scholarship and recently completed a policy minor through the McBride Honors Program.

‘This school has given me the opportunity to meet some of the most intelligent, creative and exciting people that have ever lived,’ Tortorelli said. ‘I am proud to call myself a student of Mines, and I will be even more proud to live a life as a Mines alumnus who can give back to the institution and the community that have helped me find myself.’

Tortorelli noted the long-lasting bonds between Mines students, alumni, and faculty ‘form a network of enlightened individuals who are bound to change our world for the better. I look forward to the day when I can see my own contributions bear fruit on the Mines family tree.’

After he completes his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics, Tortorelli plans to pursue his master’s in mechanical engineering at Mines and to continue his goal of summiting all of Colorado’s 14ers.