Up-and-coming Entrepreneur Gives Back

Irsan Tisnabudi arrived in Houston with his family right after finishing high school in Indonesia with very little awareness of colleges or even what career to choose, Irsan Tisnabudibut chose the University of Houston with the encouragement of his family. At that time, he had no way of predicting he would one day help support students in a similar situation.

"I knew very little about universities, but I quickly learned the College of Technology was where I would have great opportunities to be successful," he said. Tisnabudi earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering Technology, with a minor in Computer Aided Drafting Design, and launched a career in wireless telecom after graduating in 1997, Magna Cum Laude.

"I honestly did not know what I wanted to do, but my experience in the engineering technology program helped to shape my future," he recalls. Tisnabudi had been project manager and an independent consultant for several years before his first big break in 2010, when he received a substantial service order which spurred the startup of Aria Services. His company provides engineering and architecture services for the wireless telecommunication industry. "Our success has made this gift to the College a possibility," he said.

After reconnecting with the College last fall, Tisnabudi made a $30,000 gift to the college via his company to establish a scholarship with a preference for international students. While an international student at UH, he received scholarships which greatly reduced the cost of his education and wanted to "pay it forward" and do the same for other students. The gift, established through the UH Foundation, will create both an endowment account as well as a current account so scholarships may be awarded while the investment is established.

"I never dreamed that I would be able to give back to the College of Technology this way," said Tisnabudi. "But, my visit to the Technology Homecoming Open House last fall brought back many great memories, especially seeing my mentor and former dean Dr. Bernard McIntyre and his tireless dedication. Dr. McIntyre was one of several engineering technology professors who recognized my talent and potential. He helped me to learn the importance of focusing on my academic performance that would help me to earn scholarships to fund my education."

"I am glad about establishing this lasting connection to the College," he said. "I was born and raised in Indonesia and the cost to attend college can be especially overwhelming for many international students. Every talented student deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential with the support of scholarships."