The main reason I am where I am and I have achieved what I have achieved is the Balsells Fellowship. This fellowship program was started in 1996 by Pete Balsells to help Catalan students come to California to pursue graduate studies at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering of UCI. Pete Balsells, the program and his director, Prof. Roger Rangel, gave me the opportunity back in 2006 to come to America and I will forever thank them for giving me the opportunity to live the Catalan-American dream.

I was reading last night a nice article about the Balsells Fellowship that was posted in the news section of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering website:

Building Towers: Fellowship Program Brings Catalan Engineering Students to the Samueli School

The people of Catalonia, Spain, have a centuries-old cultural tradition of building human towers, or castells (castles). Usually seen at festivals or competitions, the castellers climb up each other and stand on their countrymen’s shoulders to construct a tower that can reach 10-human-stories high, often with a child on top. A crowd surrounds them, providing the safety net.

Successful engineer and Catalan native Peter J. Balsells is creating another sort of human tower, one of opportunity, right here at UC Irvine. In 1995, he endowed the Balsells-Generalitat Fellowship program in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Since then, nearly 100 of the most talented young engineers and scientists from Catalonia have come to UCI to pursue graduate studies and conduct research in engineering.