Our 2021 Scholars

Biography section

Please enjoy these biographies and thoughts by our 2021 scholars. They are grouped by scholarship, in alphabetical order. 

Kathy Tong 

Akin Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first-generation Vietnamese-American student and a Bay Area native. Throughout college, I have always had a stacked schedule working to support my loved ones financially. I have been involved with technical opportunities on campus, and held officer positions for a wide variety of student organizations within the SJSU CoE.

I have been working as a peer advisor for the MESA Engineering Program, supporting 300+ engineering and computer science students from statistically disadvantaged backgrounds. As an undergrad researcher, I have been co-leading the Films Project which is tasked with investigating the acid-organic aerosol reactions within the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere to see the products' impact on global climate change. I have held both positions since 2018 and are still on-going.

I have been vice-president for my engineering & technical science sorority, Alpha Omega Epsilon SJSU, since Fall 2020 and got re-elected for it this year, along with being vice-president for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers club. From Fall 2020 to Spring 2021, I served the SJSU Chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society as their Public Relations Officer.
As of May 2021, I am fortunate to have been accepted into the SJSU Chemical Engineering Spartan Accelerated Graduate Engineering Program (SAGE), that allows me as an undergrad in my senior year to start on a concentrated program where I will graduate with my undergrad in May 2022 and my master's in May 2023. My project will have an emphasis on carbon-capture technology.
 
I am driven to exceed my own expectations in my academics where possible and am community-driven in regards to people from similar socioeconomic backgrounds and struggles. Throughout my college years, it has been significantly difficult to do things for myself due to lack of time, but I am learning to take that time back and draw clearer and better boundaries, in order to present my genuine self to others and focus on my goals.
 
Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
The scholarship will impact me by further supporting my loved ones and my education, to ensure I can have better tools to enhance my learning experience in my senior year. I come from a financially challenged background so this scholarship would significantly reduce the burden.
Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself working a technical engineering position in the fields of sustainability and energy, since those are my biggest interests. Sustainability to me is very broad and I am keeping an open mind whether I work with water or even renewables. I want to utilize my technological training to work towards a more green and sustainable future for everyone. Any contribution in this field is a step in that balanced direction.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
Dr. Liat Rosenfeld. I was in one of my lowest moments during the COVID-19 pandemic, since I experienced a significant loss within the family and experienced incredible financial hardship, ultimately becoming the breadwinner for the family. It was difficult to think that school was a priority and to an extent, I did not want to finish my degree. Upon taking her class (ChE 190- Transport Phenomena and Mass Transfer), it reignited my drive to be a chemical engineer, and I ultimately stayed in the major and exceeded my expectations for my coursework. I am very thankful for her and her class, as it was what saved me from straying from my path.

What clubs are you affiliated with?

  1. Beta Upsilon Chapter of the Alpha Omega Epsilon Engineering & Technical Science Sorority ~ Membership since Fall 2017, Vice President May 2020 - Present
  2. American Institute of Chemical Engineers ~ Membership since Spring 2018, Vice-President May 2021 to Present
  3. CA Eta of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society ~ Membership since Spring 2019, Public Relations Officer May 2020 to May 2021

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Clubs definitely kept me well-rounded as an individual since I held my academics to a high regard, but staying involved in things not tied to my academics kept me busy in a proactive manner. Being involved in so much made me quickly learn the tricks to time management, and I've ultimately taken lead roles in group projects because my time management helps me keep my teams in check.

Ikram Bouhedda

California Homebuilding Foundation Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a fourth year civil and environmental engineering student with an intended concentration in structural engineering. Throughout my academic life, I have acquired a natural proclivity towards math, sciences, and arts. Civil engineering pleasantly entwines these factors into an amazing field.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
I believe the College of Engineering California Homebuilding Foundation scholarship will aid in my ability to embark on hands-on civil and environmental engineering experiences.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Subsequent to graduation, I intend to gain experience in a public firm for a couple of years while studying for a professional license in civil engineering. I would like to diligently work on developing sustainable practices in the civil engineering field, whether that may be greener house constructions or other structure development. Additionally, I‘ve got a dream to implement my knowledge of sustainable engineering in civil and environmental aspects where infrastructure can be developed globally. Giving back to society with a field I am driven to devote all my efforts to is a significant personal objective.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Chi Epsilon (a civil engineering honor society) and the Muslim Student Association

Kevin Huynh

California Homebuilding Foundation Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
Hi everyone, my name is Kevin Huynh, and I am currently a civil engineer major attending SJSU. I plan on graduating Fall 2022 and hope to get my EIT license in the near future. In my free time I like to play basketball, go to the gym, watch movies or explore new food places. I recently finished a summer internship at a water and waste treatment plant, where I learned a lot about what a project engineer and manager does on a day-to-day basis. My main passion is to work on commercial and residential buildings, because it's rewarding to be able to build something that many people will use.

Furthermore, my next aim  is to gain an internship or entry level at a design based company where I can work under engineers with their PE license.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has impacted me both mentally and financially. Being awarded this scholarship made me believe in myself more and believe that I will become a great civil engineer. I want to be able to do something positive for the community, and building more affordable residential buildings is one of my main goals as an civil engineer. Furthermore, this scholarship has helped my family financially, because my family was always in the middle class bracket,hich means that I do not get a lot of help from the government to pay off my tuition. My parents are both very hardworking and I am very grateful for them to help me pay off my college tuition. This scholarship will help relieve some stress from my parents.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the near future, I see myself graduating with my bachelors degree and  pursuing my EIT/FE license, and then my PE license. Then a few years down the line I would like to go back to school to pursue my masters degree. In addition, I see myself climbing up the ranks in my career and trying to learn as much as I can from my peers. In terms of life, I see myself traveling a lot, either for work or for vacation. I love to explore different countries and learn more about their culture.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My most impactful professor is my engineering professor from Evergreen Valley College. His name is Dr. Abdie Tabrizi and he was teaching a engineering class about programming. He was a successful engineer himself and wanted to teach students and tell them about his career. He was very helpful and taught me many life lessons that I would carry on till this day. In addition, for the final project we did a huge programming project that we were able s to display on our portfolio.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
ASCE has be very helpful in my career so far. I got my first internship through a email that ASCE sent out to me. ASCE also has many workshops that helps build our resume and interview/speaking skills.

Sofia Karimi

California Homebuilding Foundation Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
My name is Sofia Karimi and I am a first generation college student here at SJSU. I am currently a senior majoring in Civil Engineering. Obtaining a degree in this major will allow me to accomplish my goals in having a positive impact on the lives of those in need. 

As a working college student, I've faced some challenges in maintaining a good balance between my personal, college, and work life,hough these challenges have been a blessing in disguise inpreparing me for the real world. During my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors and taking part in outdoor activities.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has encouraged me into expanding my educational career and to take part in a masters program in  upcoming years.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I hope to see myself as a successful engineer assisting people who live in harmful and damaged  environments.

Trong Duc Thinh Nguyen

California Homebuilding Foundation

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am an international student from Hanoi, Vietnam. I have been in private and public schools in Vietnam, Singapore and California, and have spent time observing and immersing myself in studying different cultures, languages and peoples. I speak English and Vietnamese. I became fluent in English at the age of 10, and left home to study abroad at the age of 11.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
Because of Covid, our family business has really slowed down which led to my parents having difficulty paying for my out-of-state tuition. I've had to work double to not only cover living expenses, but now part of my tuition as well. The scholarship has afforded me an opportunity to focus more on my education and take more units in order to graduate in 4 years.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself being a business owner, selling products that not only can turn a profit but help people as well.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My van build was the most impactful project I've done. I bought a used work van and converted it to a camper van during Covid lockdown (summer 2020). The project required me to use everything I had in my skill set: creativity, perseverance, budgeting, bargaining, patience, design and more.

Jason Corona

Ching Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering so that I can gain the necessary tools to work on new forms of sustainable transportation. I am a first generation college student and first generation Mexican American, which both impact my work ethic to succeed. Through my upbringing I strive to work hard to help out those around me, and to serve as an inspiration for other students who come from the same background.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has impacted me by helping me focus on working towards my degree as my top priority. It has also pushed me to work even harder, due to how it showed me that there are people out there that also believe in you. This scholarship overall has allowed me to keep going after my goals and allowed me to see that through hard work I can decide what future I am going to live.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future I see myself using the degree I earn at San Jose State University in Mechanical Engineering to work on new forms of sustainable transportation. That work can take the form of either automobiles or expanding public transportation, but ultimately working to move the world in a way that is more sustainable. Even with that broad vision of how I want to change the world with a degree from San Jose State, I know there will be infinitely many possibilities of how I can accomplish that goal.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My most impactful project was when I made a catapult back in high school to launch pumpkins. This project sparked in me the enjoyment of using our understanding of the world in order to solve problems, drawing me towards my major. It probably impacted me a lot because, as I saw the pumpkin fly the farthest, I remembered how I utilized what I learned in order to succeed.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
I completed the Leadership and Career Certificate Program at SJSU.

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
My participation in the Leadership and Career Certificate Program at SJSU enhanced my education by allowing me to learn how to take what I learn in the classroom and be able to eventually take it beyond. In this program I overall became more well rounded as a person and more ready for the world beyond school.

Jared Ho

Ching Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I'm currently a second year in Computer Engineering. Much of my hobbies involve modern technology, encouraging me to choose engineering as my career path. In my free time, I like to play music or games with friends.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has been very supportive to me and my family. Before receiving this scholarship, I was planning to work part time to help fund my education, but now I can dedicate more time to focus on my studies.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself working in Silicon Valley in the future, as that's where many of the companies I'm interested in are headquartered. I can also see myself pursuing a master's degree as well, whether it is for engineering or business administration.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Software and Computer Engineering Society, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

Dmitriy Samusenko

Ditmore Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a person constantly being pushed to be his best self. I constantly seek to learn from my classmates as much as from my instructors. I am the first in my family to go to college and I will soon be a chemical engineering graduate, and I hope to inspire others with my story and work ethic. I am at the point in my life where I value listening more than speaking, whether that be to peoples' advice or anecdotes, and what I can learn from them and apply them to my own life.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
I have been raised by parents who taught me the value of money at an early age, thus you may be disappointed to learn that I plan on using these funds for my transportation to and from SJSU. Moreover, with the savings that this scholarship affords me, I have heard it is good to invest money at a young age, so I plan on learning how to do that effectively.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Wherever I work, I want people to be happy to be working with me, and I hope that I am viewed as someone who has overcome obstacles to be where he is, instead of being someone who is a product of family connections. I see myself as being humble and willing to admit he is wrong or does not know, but never as someone who gives up or is otherwise unhelpful.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
Ms. Rosenfeld due to the difficulty of her courses. I am anxious that I will not be able to competently use what I have been learning in a workplace setting, but the most difficult classes stretch the mind the most, and I am glad that I have instructors that care about their students.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Mesa Engineering Program (MEP), AIChE Club

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
The advisors of MEP have connected me with useful opportunities for advancement and improvement. They have reinforced the notion that learning does not end when I leave the classroom. The AIChE club has had useful speakers that comment on career pathways.

Shivani Sharma

Emma E. Legg Memorial Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
My name is Shivani Sharma, and I am currently a Senior at San Jose State University. My major is Aerospace Engineering, and I love all things aviation and test engineering. Some of my hobbies include watching movies, trying new foods, and taking naps (time permitting). Lastly, one interesting fact about me is I have a twin, who unfortunately, is four minutes older than me.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has impacted me by allowing me to pursue my education without worrying if I can afford tuition.With both my twin and I going to San Jose State University, it has been tough to pay for school due to the high living cost in the area. But with the scholarship it has enabled me to further my education, making it possible to achieve my dreams, and for that I am forever grateful.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself in the future as a Flight Test Engineer working within the Aerospace Engineering industry. Furthermore, my goal is to obtain my masters degree, hopefully at San Jose State University.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
The most impactful professors to me have been  Professor Jeanine Hunter and Professor Long Lu. The reason is because they both have taught me that work you put into your classes will reflect the success you have in industry. So, I learned in their classes that if you work hard, no matter the difficulty of the subject, you can achieve greatness and skills that will help your future.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
The clubs I am currently affiliated with include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Engineers Without Borders, and Spartan Racing Electric.

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
By being in clubs it has further enhanced my ability to work on project teams, as well as being able to work on hands-on projects which I may not have in the classroom. Also, student clubs haves allowed me to network with other students, as well as members in the industry.

Genevieve Ferrer

Harry Wong Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
After transferring from Hartnell College, I am now in my third year of studying mechanical engineering. When I'm not grinding out homework, I love to read books and watch movies in my free time.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
With three of my siblings also in college, the scholarship has alleviated a big part of the financial burden that is tuition. At the same time, the scholarship has also pushed me to do the best that I can in my classes, despite these tough pandemic times.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself working with mechatronics in the future. In what specific industry, I am not certain at the moment, but that is the great thing about engineering: you can wander into almost any industry, and engineering plays an important role.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
MESA Engineering Program and Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering Honor Society)

Cooper Gable

Harry Wong Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a fourth year biomedical engineering student. I am from the East Bay Area, specifically Brentwood. My favorite hobbies are landscape photography and painting. To me, these two hobbies go hand in hand, because my painting skills can enhance my photography skills and vice-versa. I decided to be a biomedical engineering student because I want to work in the biotech/pharmaceutical sectors. They are very fascinating to me because I want to be a part of the countless breakthroughs that constantly occur in that field..

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
I am very grateful for the scholarship because it has allowed me to not worry about paying for the tuition for college. This is impactful to me because instead of stressing out about needing to pay for tuition, I can focus more of my energy and time on being a student. Above all, it further encourages me to do my very best in every class that I take. I have also, over the years, been encouraged to be more active in the engineering program, where I otherwise think I would not have been. An example of this is with the engineering ambassador program, (EAP). I was able to make connections and friendships with other fellow engineering students, which was invaluable to me.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I see myself as working in either the biotechnology or the pharmaceutical sectors. Additionally, I would love to work as management for a company in these fields one day, because after taking many leadership positions in my life, I have found that I like it. I see myself as working in either the northwest or the northeastern parts of the U.S. Furthermore, I would love to work in other countries, as I know that it can be common for engineers to spend time working abroad.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
The project that was most impactful to me was the one I undertook when I was a part of the Engineering Ambassador Program (EAP). For this project, I designed an interactive lesson that was about the mathematical principle called Sierpinski Triangles. What was most impactful to me was not necessarily the principle being taught, but the fact that I reached out to an SJSU math professor to learn more about the topic, and that I presented the topic on my own to high school students.

Emmanuel Gomez

Harry Wong Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first year and I am majoring in Civil Engineering! I have been wanting to do engineering since I was little, and always building things with either Lego bricks or Lincoln Logs. As I got a little older, I got more into K'nex toys where I would build little rollercoasters. Those kind of things always interested me, and so I decided to go with Engineering! Out of school I am usually very active, always looking for some sport to play or go to the gym!

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has been a blessing for my family and myself as it really helps us out with the payments for college. It also has made me hold myself to a higher standard and it is pushing me to do better in my classes.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself with a Civil Engineering degree and using what I have learned throughout college to guide me towards the next chapter in my life.

Pierce Tyson

Harry Wong Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I'm a 19 year old second-year student at SJSU studying General Engineering. Problem-solving has always been my thing. Whether it's with group disputes or tactical issues, I've always enjoyed the process of working through a problem to find a solution. That's why I love it here at SJSU, because I'm able to engage myself in an amazing engineering program that challenges me to push myself!

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies while not over-working during a living transition. It also allows my parents to save more for my little brother who also has college aspirations. Furthermore, this scholarship has better connected me with SJSU and the engineering program with events we've had this year. I cannot express how grateful I am for this scholarship and opportunity.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future I see myself working in Silicon Valley for an engineering firm making innovative products in whatever industry I see fit. I would love to lead projects and groups in my career field while still making an impact in the community with community service and youth programs I participate in.

Gift Olatunji

Ichor Systems Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I came from Nigeria in West Africa where harsh environment and living conditions were part of my daily life. After overcoming the cultural shocks associated with being an immigrant in the United States, I decided to make conscious efforts to cope better with attitudinal barriers so that my educational experiences will contain significant personal and academic achievements. Since I moved to California, I have learned empathy, and I have used good coping and time management skills or strategies to adjust to the different educational and socio-emotional experiences.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has enabled me to continue my education, with less financial burden. I am now able to focus on my drive to make a difference in the world, by making use of the engineering processes and systems taught to me, to improve quality, increase productivity and operational efficiency.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I want to create technology that would be accessible to everyone globally, irrespective of status. I want to help immigrants such as myself integrate better into society and contribute one solution to the sociological problem of acculturation. With my degree, I will be able to efficiently and effectively use the latest technologies and methodologies to successfully meet my goal.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
The most impactful project I had before transferring to San Jose State University this semester was a web development project. I was able to learn to learn a new programming language to build a website of great value: a site for book readers to access all books easily from the comfort of their home. This project was a great experience because I was able to increase my knowledge on technological tools that advanced my software skills.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
I’m the current Academic and Programs Chair of the Black Alliance of Scientists and Engineers (BASE), M.E.S.A Engineering Program

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Though I have just recently joined at the startt of school, it has been a great eye opener and source of support.

Chinaza Onwubuemeli

Ichor Systems Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I'm a junior in Industrial and Systems engineering, hoping to switch to Computer Engineering. I'm minoring in graphic design. After undergraduate, I want to get my masters in Computer Graphics.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
I’m really thankful for the scholarship, and how it has impacted me as a student. With this scholarship, I’m able to support myself financially, and focus more on school and other personal activities.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I hope to become a computer graphics engineer.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
Most impactful professor is my English 1A professor Aamina Ahmad, because I had always struggle with writing, with English as my second language. I learned a lot in that class, from critical thinking to writing a constructive essay to fit the prompt.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
MESA Engineering Program
Society of Women in Engineering

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
I have able to engage in different activities and professional development access and engagement programs that helps me prepare more for jobs after college, which motivates me to continue striving in school as I navigate through college.

Salman Saeed

Ichor Systems Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a senior Mechanical Engineering student. I have migrated to the United States about 9 years ago with one goal in mind, to attend an engineering college. I grew up in Saudi Arabia, and I was not able able to attend college because I am not a citizen, despite the fact that I was born there. I was lucky enough to have been admitted to San Jose State University into the program I wanted.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
The scholarship has helped me attend this semester debt-free, which will help me focus more on my courses and worry less about work. In addition, I was able to spend more time on developing side skills that will help me in post-graduation plans.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I would like to apply for a master's program at SJSU in the near future.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
The most impactful professors in SJSU, in my opinion, are Dr. Burford Furman and Dr. Saied Bashash, because those two professors were always available for additional help or guidance. They have never shown anytime constraints when students asked them for help, despite their busy lives.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Spartan Racing, MESA, and MEP

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
It has helped me develop skills outside of the classroom which will help me find good-paying jobs in the future.

Julian Columbres

Jane Evans Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Software Engineering. My interests include making challenging software applications, simple-to-use iOS apps, and working with data. I am interested in exposing myself to hands-on projects and technologies and am always looking for new opportunities to grow. In my free time, I love spending time with my dog outside or playing basketball.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has eased so much of the financial burden and stress throughout my education. I am extremely grateful I have been able to spend more time learning and being involved because of this scholarship.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
My goal is to gain experience and work as an engineer upon graduation and hopefully pursue further education in Machine Learning or A.I. down the line. I would like to contribute toward complex applications that make everyday life easier.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My favorite project was working on a data analytics dashboard this past summer as an intern for our Software and Computer Engineering Society. It was fun working in a fast paced environment alongside multiple team members and different teams to deliver a functional and aesthetic web app. It has made me even more excited to enter the industry as an engineer and continue building interesting and helpful applications.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Software and Computer Engineering Society, Akbayan Filipino Cultural Club

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Clubs have helped me be more involved and create lasting connections. I have gained a lot of knowledge and advice that better prepare me for both my upcoming classes and life after school. Additionally, it has made my education much more enjoyable and fun.

Phu Lam

Jane Evans Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am transfer student from Santa Rosa Junior College. I was very lucky to find out that I like coding. My brother introduced me to coding when I was in high school. That is why I am getting my degree in Computer Science. My goal after graduating is to have a career in big data, artificial intelligent, or full-stack developer.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship makes a big difference in my educational experience. The money from the award allows me to have more options on how to use my free time. I used it to improve my college experience by working harder to find an internship, which is really crucial for my major. I also have more time join a computer science club, which I am very excited about; and I didn’t have to do my homework with an empty stomach. This scholarship really helps me with advancing my education.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I’d like to see myself explore and develop skills in coding. I want to be a part of a team that works in a big project that has an impact on our society. While doing so, I want to gain a lot of experience at work and makea deep connection with co-workers.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
I think the first professor that taught me my first class in coding really made a great impact on me. I confirmed my decision to choose computer engineering as my major. He gaveme a good experience with coding.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Hack4Impact, CS + Artificial Intelligence, CS + Social Good.

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
This is my first time joining Computer Science clubs. I will meet a lot of people with the same goals as me. I am very excited about it. I hope to be partnered up with someone and work on a project.

Andy Neidhart

Jane Evans Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first year student majoring in Computer Engineering, originally from southern California. When I'm not doing school work, I like to play video games, hang out with friends, listen to music, and get outdoors. Computers are everywhere now and are changing the world we live in, I for one would like to be a part of that change.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has allowed me to focus more on my education and not worry so much about the debt that comes after the education. This scholarship is also a reminder that I can do great things,  and in a way it helps to keep me in check and on top of things.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future I want to get my masters degree and work for a tech company, whether it be one of the tech giants of Silicon Valley or a smaller tech company. I want to be in the computer engineering field at one of these companies and work on new technologies to help change the future.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My most impactful project would have to be my musical Tesla coil that I built while I was in high school. It taught me many technical aspects of electronics and engineering;I learned to be patient and thorough with my work. It also taught me to try and try again, never giving up and learning from my mistakes each time.

Dontario Beverly

Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholar

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first-generation college student from Oakland, Ca. I am a rising senior, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Mechatronics. My academic journey started within the San Mateo County Community College District. I ultimately graduated from Cañada College with an AS in Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, and an AA in Interdisciplinary studies. During my time as a student, I have been very active in organizations and clubs. Student involvement has allowed me to help connect students to resources and empower them by fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. I have a genuine love and passion for learning and growing, and I try to approach every day with one goal in mind: to be better than I was the day before.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has invested into my academic and professional growth. It helps me out financially and allows me to focus more on my studies and less on the burden of finances, and helps me to commute from Oakland to San Jose. It also allows me to be a part of a community of scholars working hard to achieve their life goals through education.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I plan to be working in either the defense, semiconductor or renewable energy industries in the future. Whichever company that may be, I want to help provide services and products to help the human population while advancing science and technology. Additionally, I want to have an organization in Oakland that focuses on getting more black kids interested in STEM. This organization will ideally provide them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in a STEM career academically and professionally.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My most impactful project is my senior design project that I am working on in ME 195A. I am on the mechanical design side, so I am doing design work for the robot, which is incredible! We are incorporating a lot of hands-on work directly applicable to my career and field of interest.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
President, the Black Alliance of Scientists and Engineers (BASE), MESA Engineering Program

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
My involvement in student clubs has motivated and empowered me to continue my education. I know that I am serving as a role model to some degree, and I have to set a great example. It also allows me to share a learning space where other students and myself can form our own study groups. This is super helpful with understanding concepts and material for midterms and finals.

Hugo Lopez Avila

Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholar

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
My name is Hugo Lopez, I'm currently a third year student at San Jose State University majoring in Electrical Engineering. I'm a first generation student, and the first in my family to attend college. On campus, I'm the Vice President for the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists (SHPE/MAES), our mission is to advance Latino Success in STEM at San Jose State. I'm also involved with the MESA Engineering Program, where I'm taking part in the PG&E Mentorship Program.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has taken tremendous stress off my back. Last year I was working full time and was also a full time student. Throughout the whole year I was extremely burnt out. Because of this scholarship, this year I can now focus on my studies without worrying about tuition costs.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
My career goal was set by my community involvement. I want a career in which I can continue to give back to my community. I've concluded that I want to work for a utility company. I say this because we use electricity and natural gas for basically everything. This is a career choice that will impact not only my community but 16 million people around California.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists (SHPE/MAES), MESA Engineering Program (MEP),  Science Extravaganza (SE)

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Not only have I met like-minded individuals but I also found my place on campus. When I was a freshman I was completely new to SJSU-- it was clubs and organizations that helped me meet people, and these people are now very close friends of mine. I now have a community on campus that helps me study, goes through the struggles with me, and most importantly brings joy to my life!

Lysette Zaragoza

Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
As the first in my family to pursue engineering, navigating higher education has been a challenge due to a scarcity of guidance. To overcome this, I actively pursue goals such as participating in STEM clubs, working on an engineering project during the school year, and working at an internship during each summer in order to develop as an engineer. Therefore, through the resources from my past community college work and from San Jose State University, I have been able to develop despite this challenge by persevering with my two main assets: resourcefulness and determination.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
With the financial support from the Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholarship, I will be able to continue pursuing my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the university level after my journey of transferring from community college. Outside of the classroom, I will have more time to dedicate toward my goals for technical and career development, including being able to join a research lab. Further, I will also be able to continue giving back to my community as a volunteer mentor for youth at my community college and as the professional development chair for the Society of Women Engineers. Also, the recognition of receiving this scholarship has made an impact on my empowerment and confidence as I continue moving forward in my degree and goals. Overall, this scholarship brings a financial impact, but most importantly, it shows me that I am supported in my journey and it allows for the room to expand my growth as a future engineer.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I want to use my engineering degree and skills to perform research that helps people. I have had the opportunity to participate in both biomedical and environmental research internships, where I got to design medical treatments as well as more efficient solar cells. From these experiences, I learned that it is most important for me to see a profound impact on people in the work that I do. To further my career and impact, I want to attend graduate school to obtain my doctorate degree. Also, I would like to continue giving back to my community when I am a professional by serving as a mentor for other women in engineering.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
The most impactful project I have done at San Jose State University was in designing and building a mechatronic recycling system for my final project in my mechatronics course. My team and I built a system that uses sensors and motors to detect what type of recycling material the user has, and to separate the different types of materials into different bin compartments. This was the first hands-on experience I had with mechatronics and I was inspired by both the impact the machine could have and the ability engineering has to make machines come to life. This led to adding a robotics minor to my mechanical engineering major and it has majorly influenced my approach to thinking about any engineering problems that come my way.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists (SOLES), MESA Engineering Program (MEP), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
My involvement in student clubs has played a major supportive role in my engineering education and in my career growth as a future engineer. Being able to connect with San Jose State University students with similar backgrounds and with mentors has allowed me to create my own STEM support system despite being the first in my family to pursue engineering. Further, as a member of these clubs, I am able to attend events for career development such as resume reviews, mock interviews, and learning sessions with industry professionals so that I can develop my career through internships and insight into the professional engineering world. Overall, the clubs have helped me to be a well-rounded student and to be empowered in carving my professional path.

Leonel Gonzalez Lorenzo

MEP Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a DREAMER, at heart and on paper. A first generation, low-income, DACA, future engineer that plans to change my own life and my family’s, and one day make a change worth my life in this world.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
As a low-income first generation student, this scholarship gave me room to breathe without the worry or headaches of thinking about paying for my education to better myself and my family.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I hope to one day be a leader, a mentor, a positive influence on this world.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
SOLES, MAES,MEP, Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity Inc.

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
They have given me support, guidance, and help that I would have otherwise missed out without them.

Daniela Marinez

MEP Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first generation college student pursing my BS in industrial and systems engineering. In my free time I like to hang out with friends and go to the beach.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has given me financial help to pay for rent.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself working for an automotive company and going back to my old high school to talk to students there to encourage them to pursue a STEM degree.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My professor for my ISE 102 class, he gave a lot of real life financial advice that I still use today.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Clubs have helped me get out of my shell and learn to network and reach out to people.

Jose Luiz Sarabia Torres

MEP Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering. A unique aspect is that I am a first-generation college student and will be the first in my family to obtain a college degree. I enjoy utilizing the technology around me to further my understanding of CAD design and manufacturing.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has helped with the financial expenses of college, primarily the cost of tuition, books/supplies, and basic needs. As a first-generation college student, the cost of attending a four-year university can be overwhelming; however, this scholarship will assist with my undergraduate journey at San Jose State University.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
After graduating with my bachelor's, I see myself pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. My passion and interest in CAD have driven my desire in the field. I am constantly learning and using the skills to further contribute to society. As for my future career, I will be a project designer in one of the tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
Throughout my first semester at San Jose State University, the final project in ME 20 furthered my proficiency in Solidworks. Furthermore, the perspective of the manufacturing process of design was highlighted through the development phase. Overall, it allowed me to use my skills and implement them to solve a problem in the real world. It exemplified the endless opportunities and creativity one can have when designing a product.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
MESA Engineering Program, Educational Opportunity Program, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
The MESA Engineering Program has allowed me the opportunity to communicate with employers and create valuable connections. Furthermore, the peer mentors are amazing. They provide academic guidance and professional advice. While academic performance is crucial, how you present yourself to the industry through your resume, internships, and experience is equally as important.

Marlenne Valadez Lozano

MEP Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first generation student and I transferred from Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) to SJSU. I am currently studying Biomedical Engineering and have been contemplating whether or not graduate school is an adequate route for me. After taking a tour at Medtronic, I realized how much I would love to work for that company and hope to earn a job there after I graduate.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
I have been able to put a little more money into my savings account for my cost of living, rather than putting most of my paychecks towards my credit cards.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
If it is a possibility, I hope to go to graduate school and obtain a PhD in Biomedical Engineering before going into research for a variety of medical devices.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
I have always been a shy person, especially as a kid. Although not a professor, my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Caballero, provided a significant impact in my life. She was the strictest teacher I ever had, yet she made me feel confident in my abilities and helped me develop assertiveness.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
MEP

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
I have built connections with those in my field, such as Diana Knobler, my advisor. We are able to connect through MEP and BME.

Julia Gosiengfiao

Munson Family Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
Hello! My name is Julia Gosiengfiao and I am a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student. When I'm not in the library studying or doing homework, you can find me doing activities such as hiking, playing video games or playing with my dog Loki. I'm a young, passionate individual who believes in always helping the community and others.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has allowed me to pursue my educational goals of attaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. It has allowed me to stay focused with my studies and also gain insight from other like-minded individuals. I'm very thankful for the donors and also the people I've been able to meet along the way.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I see myself working as a mechanical engineer working in research and development. I'd love to be able to work in the mechanical design industry and to be able to do something which allows me to reach out and help the community.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
SJSU Theta Tau

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Joining Theta Tau has allowed me to meet other engineers with similar mindsets. It has helped me grow professionally and learn more about networking, resume building and interview prepping. Not only that, but it also allows me to participate in community service events and also create bonds with other students. My favorite aspect is having a mentor and other friends who have not only helped me with my studies, but also with everyday life.

Jinann Alzaghari

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
My name is Jinann Alzaghari and I am a graduating senior at SJSU, pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I'm Palestinian-American and was born and raised in the Bay Area. When I'm not studying for classes, I like to spend time with family and friends. Throughout my time at SJSU, I've had the amazing opportunity to be a part of multiple research labs. I am grateful for these research experiences because they have allowed me to connect with wonderful faculty and have contributed to my holistic growth throughout my undergraduate career.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has profoundly impacted me by providing me with the means to pay for my expenses as a student which include tuition, books, and more recently, technological equipment. This has been especially helpful because it is critical to be well-equipped with school supplies in both online and in-person learning. Additionally, I am appreciative that this scholarship has allowed me to network with other bright and inspiring scholars.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I see myself as a successful chemical engineer who is able to directly impact and improve people's lives. I hope to do this by applying my skills and knowledge to the fields of renewable energy or biotechnology. To show gratitude to those who have helped me in my educational pursuits, I plan to give back to my community in the form of mentorship. More specifically, as an engineer and woman of color, I am eager to inspire other minorities to pursue their engineering dreams and excel in their aspirations.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
The most impactful project I’ve worked on was in my first research lab in which I aided a Master’s student, Sue-Mae, in her thesis project about blood clots. This project was impactful because Sue-Mae was a role model for me and her enthusiasm about her project motivated me to work hard alongside her. In addition, Sue-Mae’s being a mechanical engineer really opened my eyes to the overlapping and interconnected relationships between the various engineering disciplines. This, in turn, broadened my perspective as to what career path I could choose as a chemical engineer. Overall, this project introduced me to research, provided me with an amazing mentor, and taught me about the endless opportunities around me.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
I am affiliated with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
My involvement in student clubs has enhanced my education by providing me with professional development resources as well as an atmosphere to socialize with my peers.

Elaina Davey

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
My name is Elaina Davey, I'm a sophomore at San Jose State University and in addition to being a double major, I play Women's Water Polo for the school!

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has impacted me very positively, it's allowed me to pursue several of my passions without drowning in all sorts of student debt.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself helping other people in the future.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
I'm only a sophomore, but so far my most impactful professor has actually been for a GE course, Professor Todd Perreira in the RELS99 class was very encouraging and made me excited even for online classes.

Alec Jaculina

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a senior majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering. In my free time I enjoy working out, gardening, and spending time with friends.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has helped my mental health and it has lightened the financial burden on my family.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself working in a hospital, helping improve healthcare systems and prevent medical errors.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My most impactful professor is Professor Wong, he has given me great advice on life.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
Being involved has allowed me to form better study habitsthat I’ve learned from my peers.

Tida Ngov

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a first year majoring in biomedical engineering. I come from an immigrant household, and I am extremely lucky and grateful to be attending college. Growing up, I was supported by my grandmother, aunt, and mother. I love cooking, listening to music, and spending time with loved ones. I am passionate about helping those around me and learning more about the world we live in!

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has helped me focus on my education. With this scholarship, I don't have to worry about paying for tuition or textbooks or other school supplies. This scholarship also helps ease the minds of my family, who were worried about the expenses of college. Without the financial burden, I am able to focus on performing to the best of my abilities academically, as well as be an active part of the community through clubs.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I hope to attend medical school in the future, and after that I hope to work with the community and help give back. I am lucky to have had so many people supporting me, and I want to be able to give that same support and caring back to the people who need it.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers; Society of Women Engineers

Hien Nguyen

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a newly transferred student from Modesto Junior College. This is my first semester at San Jose State University as a Software Engineering student, and I can't wait to continue my academic journey at SJSU. Being exposed to computers in early childhood has formed a love for programming in me. Therefore, I love to code and learn new coding techniques during my free time. Besides coding, I also like to travel to different places, take photos, and post them on my Instagram.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
Deciding to leave Central Valley and continue the four-year degree at the center of Silicon Valley was a tough decision for me due to its expensive living costs. This made me worried about having sufficient finances to stay focused on school. Being awarded this scholarship helps me reduce my financial concerns and allows me to focus on my degree instead of looking for a full-time job. This scholarship also gives me opportunities to meet other students in the same field and learn more from them.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Being a software engineering student, I hope I can see myself in the future as a software engineer that uses my skills to develop software applications that can solve Bay Area's problems and make our life easier.

Indigo Ramey-Wright

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
Hi, my name is Indigo. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. I am currently a second semester freshman studying Mechanical Engineering. I originally fell in love with engineering when I designed and built my own Dobsonian telescope.

I graduated high school when I was sixteen years old and took almost three years off of school to work and solo travel around Europe. I hope to be able to go traveling again soon.

Besides engineering, my free time consists of reading, writing, and hanging out with my dog.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
When I applied to this scholarship, it was a shot in the dark. I didn't have any expectations. I just wanted to put myself out there and to be able to say that I tried my best to make college as affordable for my family as possible. However, when I was awarded this scholarship, I was able to reflect on all the years of hard work and say "It was worth it." It gave me a new sense of pride and confidence in my educational background and pursuits. It has also created a community that I know will always have my back when I need help, not just in academia.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In my internship experience, the communication between the business and engineering sides of a company can be inefficient and messy. I hope to enter the working world being able to speak the language of engineers in a way that is easier understood by non-engineers. I want to utilize my engineering background and critical thinking skills to improve a work environment or help a system of processes be more efficient.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
I had a teacher in high school, Mr. Brandon Summerrill, who not only fostered my love of math, but also guided me on my path towards engineering. He always had his door open for students to interact with him, whether they needed help on homework or just wanted to chat. He was my teacher in my Intro to Engineering class, which was my first experience in the field, and he could not have made it a better one. When I told him I wanted to make a Dobsonian telescope, he applied for funding so I could complete my project. He had a huge impact on my current academic path.

Kaeleen Sapelli

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

Tell us who you are/about yourself:
I am a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering Major from Southern California.

Tell us how this scholarship has impacted you:
This scholarship has given me the ability to support myself and take significant stress off of me and my family.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
I hope to be working in the aerospace industry working to expand our knowledge of the universe.

Most impactful professor or project and why?
My most impactful professor would be Dr. Ishida and her community outreach program where we created lessons for grade school students in the area. Dr. Ishida is so invested in her students, and even over COVID kept her classes engaging.

What clubs are you affiliated with?
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space

How has your involvement in student clubs enhanced your education?
It has given me the opportunity to work on more hands on and interesting projects. Its created challenging situations that force me to think quickly and out of the box.