Meet Dan Mace, a 2016-2017 Illini Dads Association Scholarship winner awarded $2,000 to help toward his university expenses for the school year! Dan was one of 6 scholarship winners out of 41 applications – and he’s always up for a new and exciting challenge. Dan will be graduating this year with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. Read on to learn more about Dan and his plans for the future. Plus, he even knows how to ride a unicycle. Talk about multi-talented!
Name: Dan Mace
Major/minor: Chemical Engineering, minor in Mathematics
Year of Graduation: 2018
Fun fact: Can ride a unicycle
Favorite campus spot: Japan Gardens or Bardeen Quad
Tell me about yourself!
I’m from Batavia, Illinois and in my free time I enjoy reading, running, and watching movies. I also love to hike/camp when I have the time and I’m a big Chicago sports fan. I chose my major because I really enjoy math, science, and problem solving and wanted the challenge.
What activities are you involved in at the University of Illinois?
I’m President of Illinois Biodiesel Initiative and I’m also involved with Omega Chi Epsilon (The ChemE honor society).
How did you hear about the Illini Dads Association scholarship?
My mom ran across it on the Facebook page and let me know!
Why did you decide to apply?
It’s always worth it to apply for scholarships and the Dads Association seemed like a great organization after reading about it more.
How did the scholarship benefit you? Were there any specific areas that it helped?
I use the money I make from my internships as well as help from my parents to pay for some of the tuition/housing but I still have to take on student loans. This scholarship helped to reduce my loans this year by quite a bit!
What are you hoping to gain from an education at the University?
I hoped my time at the University would give me an education that would help make me competitive in my field, gain lifelong friendships, and learn a lot about what direction I want my life to go. I can definitely say after 3 years that I have gained all of these!
What has been your favorite experience as a student at the University of Illinois?
There are too many to count, but one of my favorite nights every year has been the night before everyone leaves for the summer after finals are complete. It’s an amazing feeling to not have to worry about exams for 3 months and just spend time with friends.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m really interested in the energy industry. I find it fascinating because of the impact it has on our lives as well as the potential for innovation in the near future. I would love to work on a project that helps make renewable energy sources more viable than they are now.
For personal goals, I want to visit every National Park in America and learn to speak another language.
Every year the Illini Dads Association awards $12,ooo dollars in scholarship money to students who exemplify exceptional leadership, academic achievement, and need. Scholarship winners will each receive $2,000 toward their university expenses for their hard work and commitment to the Illini community. Apply by November 30 for the 2017-2018 award and you can be our next scholarship spotlight!