Alumni Spotlight (2020)
I am a proud mechanical engineering student who is graduating from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor of Science at the end of this quarter. I am especially proud because as a former undocumented immigrant and first generation low income student, my journey has not been easy. Though I battled against adversity pursing a higher education, I was able to align myself with a strong support system like the STEM Scholars program to reach the level of success I have now. While at Norco College, I discovered a passion for engineering, obtained my first internship, participated in student advocacy, and established a professional network. In addition, due to my academic excellence I was awarded the Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship and the Latinos Promoting Education and Culture Endowed Scholarship. Upon graduating from Norco College, I completed an engineering graphics certification and A.S. degrees in Math & Science, Pre Engineering, and Physics. In 2017, I transferred to the UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) where I became a peer mentor for the BCOE Transfer Transition Program. Following this experience, I was met with the opportunity to work with the emissions and fuels research team at the College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE CERT). For the past year, I have been working on a real world tire and brake wear emissions research study. My research involves analyzing the concentration and dispersion of brake wear particles along the 5 freeway in Anaheim and 710 highway in Long Beach. Having the responsibility of operating a particulate matter analyzer, studying published journals related to non exhaust emissions, and analyzing in field data has given me clarity and insight into the world of environmental research. It has also influenced my desire to apply to the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program with a specialization in air quality. I am very proud of the position I have reached and hope that I can inspire more women to pursue a career in STEM.
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