University of Arizona Senior Earns SynCardia’s 1st Annual Anna Salazar Memorial Engineering Scholarship
Award Honors Late Senior Quality Engineer Anna Salazar and Helps Female Engineering Students Further Their Education
TUCSON, Ariz. – Jan. 14, 2014 – A University of Arizona senior whose aim is to develop medical devices that monitor heart health is the first recipient of the Anna Salazar Memorial Engineering Scholarship presented by SynCardia Systems, Inc.
Sandra Gonzalez of Tucson, who received $5,000 from the new scholarship program, will graduate from the UA in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering.
“Since after my freshman year I’ve always had a passion toward cardiovascular research,” says Gonzalez, who is supporting herself as the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend a university. “I really appreciate the scholarship, which will help me continue my education.”
Gonzalez’s interest in cardiovascular-related devices grew after she toured Tucson-based SynCardia, the privately held manufacturer of the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved temporary Total Artificial Heart and the wearable Freedom® portable driver.
“I thought maybe I’d like to work for a company similar to SynCardia,” she says.
Gonzalez has had extensive research training. In 2012, she co-published an article with Jeffrey T. La Belle, Ph.D., “The Development of an At-Risk Biosensor for Cardiovascular Disease,” in Biosensors Journal. La Belle is an assistant professor at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute.
The scholarship was implemented by SynCardia’s CEO and President, Michael Garippa, with the approval of the SynCardia Board of Directors to support female engineering students who want to make a significant contribution to society. It is named for the late Anna Salazar, who joined SynCardia in 2012. As a senior quality engineer, Salazar earned the respect of her colleagues because of her positive attitude and her proactive approach to work.
“Although her time with the company was brief, the impact she made was lasting,” says Garippa. “Anna touched us all in a short amount of time and it is our hope this scholarship will help others like her achieve their professional goals.”
CAUTION – The Freedom portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.
About the Anna Salazar Memorial Engineering Scholarship
The Anna Salazar Memorial Engineering Scholarship, sponsored by SynCardia Systems Inc., seeks to support female University of Arizona College of Engineering undergraduate students who desire to make a significant contribution to society. Recipients demonstrate academic excellence, exhibit exceptional leadership potential, participate in community service activities and demonstrate financial need. It is named for the late Anna Salazar, who joined SynCardia in 2012. As a senior quality engineer, Salazar earned the respect of her colleagues because of her positive attitude and her proactive approach to work.
About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.
Janelle Drumwright, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 547-7463