That is why he, with the help of the university, has organized a golf tournament to raise money for the scholarship formed in honor of the late Dr. Hashim Salman Mahdi.
“He did so much for individuals and for the university,” said Salinas, who graduated from UTPA in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and went on to become the first UTPA engineering student to earn a doctorate.
Mahdi, who died last year at the age of 56, was instrumental in the development of the university’s mechanical engineering program. He joined UTPA in 1992 as an assistant professor and became a full-time professor in 2002.
“He was a mentor to a lot of us or certainly a colleague,” said Dr. Miguel A. Gonzalez, associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering and director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. “Everybody was very close to him.”
Salinas described Mahdi as an energetic professor who cared very much for his students and helped them in all areas of their lives.
“He was concerned about you. If you did poorly on a test, he took you aside. He wanted to know why you did poorly,” Salinas said.
Salinas said Mahdi, who taught thermal science classes, influenced Salinas to enter the career he’s in now. Salinas works as a principal mechanical engineer for Raytheon.
Students could call Mahdi any time for help, Salinas said.
“He was always available,” he said.
Salinas said he started planning the tournament a few months ago to honor his mentor by raising money for the Dr. Hashim Salman Mahdi Memorial Scholarship and provide a networking opportunity for alumni. UTPA started the scholarship last year.
The tournament, a three-person scramble, will be from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 23 at the Tierra Del Sol Golf Course, located at 700 E. Hall Acres Road in Pharr.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided and all participants will receive a UTPA Engineering golf visor. The event will also include prizes for first, second, third and last places, door prizes and other rewards.
Registration costs $100 for professionals and $60 for students. Participants can register individually, as a team or corporate sponsor.
Those wishing to donate but not participate in the tournament still must fill out the registration form, but write “Donation only, will not play” on top and indicate the gift amount in the “Additional donation amount” section.
For more information, visit http://mece.utpa.edu.