Chemical engineering major Eydis Lima was the student speaker at the Women for UMass Amherst Breakfast on May 12 in the Marriott Hotel, Newton, Massachusetts. Lima joined two special guest speakers, Chancellor Robert C. Holub and Cheryl A. Dubin '90 (senior vice president of relationship management and marketing for Fidelity Investments), at the event. At the breakfast, Lima was sitting with her scholarship donor, Janice Rossbach, whose fund was partially responsible for Lima’s UMass Amherst dream coming true and, accordingly, for the theme of her talk: “Day and Night I Always Dream with Open Eyes.”
In her speech, Lima, a native of Cuba, described the first time her family tried to escape to the United States, when she was three years old. Her father made an aluminum boat for the family to escape in, but an informer told the police, who took her father, grandfather, and uncle to jail. Worse yet, the government then confiscated her family farm and all its vehicles. But several years later, her family did escape, and Lima began dreaming of becoming an engineer.
“Today, this dream has become a reality beyond what I imagined back then,” Lima said. “I am a chemical engineering major with a biochemistry concentration and a women’s studies minor. And this is exactly why I chose UMass Amherst. It is because of the small college of engineering environment that I am able to excel in the many challenging engineering classes, but at the same time it is because of the big campus and college life that I am able to work towards obtaining an unexpected minor.”
Part of her dream is coming to fruition due to the scholarships she has received, including one from the Rossbach fund. The Leopold Jerome Rossbach Memorial and Janice Rittenburg Rossbach ’49 Scholarship Endowment supports scholarships for qualified undergraduate students pursuing a degree in the College of Engineering. In addition, the fund also supports tutoring programs associated with the Multi-Cultural Engineering Program and the Women in Engineering Program. (May 2010)