Four Students First to Receive BorgWarner Scholarships

For Freshman Jaydin Freeman (‘26, CS), BorgWarner and Kettering University put their action behind their words.

“Diversity comes in many forms. It is in many mission statements, and sometimes, that’s as far as it goes — words on paper — but no true reflection in the institutions,” Freeman said. “However, to see BorgWarner and Kettering University come together to bring about change in an actionable way means a lot to me. It makes me want to do the best I can so that I, too, can be in a position to impact the lives of others in a meaningful way. This partnership makes me feel hopeful about the future.”

Freeman is one of the first participants in the BorgWarner Scholars Program, created by the company’s commitment to diversity through a donation of $925,000. The program provides scholarships to students in financial need, with a focus on African American and Hispanic students interested in an engineering co-op at BorgWarner.

Students will be on site full-time at BorgWarner during their paid co-op rotations that start during their freshman year. During their rotations, students will receive more than two years of real-world experience working alongside BorgWarner engineers and mentors, gaining skills to support and supplement their schoolwork and eventual transition into salaried, full-time employment.

Freeman hopes to become a software engineer at BorgWarner after graduation. He completed one co-op term with the company this summer, and he’s excited about his future terms there.

“This program is so much more than just a rotational engineering program,” he said. “I’ve made so many meaningful connections and learned so much through the first term at BorgWarner. This program was initiated by [Vice President of BorgWarner Inc. and President and General Manager, Morse Systems] Brady Ericson (‘94, ME) and managed by [Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering Systems] Chris Gustanski. Having a clear conversation with Chris Gustanski regarding my interest and how he could align my rotations with them, I am more hopeful about my future.”

Jaydin Freeman ('26, CS)

Jaydin Freeman ('26, CS) listens to a lecture in his Computer Science Class. He is one of four students to participate in the BorgWarner Scholars Program.

Freshman Christian Lopez (‘25, EE) also completed his co-op term during the summer.

“It exceeded my expectations a lot,” Lopez said. “I had hands-on work and business work at the computer. In the beginning, obviously, we’re doing training, but after that, they started giving us responsibilities and projects.”

Like Freeman, Lopez also appreciates BorgWarner and Kettering’s efforts to increase diversity.

“Giving the opportunity to minority students is something that many don’t get the chance to do,” Lopez said, “so I’m proud to be one of the first ones there and hopefully help programs like these continue.”

Christian Lopez ('25, EE)

Christian Lopez ('25, EE) works on a VEX robot during Interdisciplinary Design and Manufacturing class. He is one of four students to participate in the BorgWarner Scholars Program.

Borgwarner has provided scholarship money for minority students attending Kettering University.

Mark Evans (’25, CE) and Xavier Omozokpia (’25, ME)

Photo Credit: BorgWarner

Co-oping at BorgWarner

Freshmen Mark Evans (’25, CE) and Xavier Omozokpia (’25, ME) started their first co-op term at BorgWarner at the end of September.

“I had a lot of interviews, and BorgWarner felt more like a family than a company, which I appreciate,” Omozokpia said. “Interviewing with some of the larger companies made it feel like you were one in a million, but here, I feel special, like they care about us as individuals.”

Omozokpia wants to work in the automotive industry after graduation, specifically electric vehicles, while Evans wants to work with sustainable energy, making BorgWarner an ideal place to work. 

“When I was looking for a co-op, BorgWarner has an amazing focus on producing a cleaner, more sustainable environment, which was crucial for my decision,” Evans said.

That, combined with the Kettering scholarship, made choosing Kettering a no-brainer.

“The scholarship made the decision a lot easier, and now that I’m here, I already feel like I’m a part of the Kettering community,” Omozokpia said.

In addition to the $925,000 to start the scholarship, BorgWarner donated $100,000 to support a new Kettering University initiative and to help expand it to more corporate sponsors. 

“BorgWarner welcomes our first scholarship recipients to the company,” said Felecia Pryor, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at BorgWarner Inc. “They are joining the company at an exciting and pivotal time in our history. We look forward to sharing our collective experiences together and achieving our goals.”

BorgWarner presented the $1,025,000 check to Kettering University on Feb. 25.

“We are grateful to BorgWarner for investing in experiential, as well as financial, opportunities for students," said Sue Davies, Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations at Kettering. "The impact this, coupled with our unique Co-op and educational experience, will have on these students immediately prepares them to be innovators and leaders in STEM industries around the world. I'm most excited about how this will complement and further enhance our existing Office of Multicultural Students Initiatives, which provides tutoring, mentorship and other support services to ensure our students' success."