Our 2020 Scholars

Elisa Parent

Benzing Fellowship

I am a fifth year Electrical Engineering student, and this is my final year at San Jose State. One great thing about this scholarship is that it has given me continued access to the semiconductor fab during COVID-19. I see myself researching semiconductor devices. The most impactful part of my schooling so far was being an intern and working with an evaporator, which got me into semiconductors.

Club affiliation: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Crystal Pereira

Benzing Fellowship

I am beginning the Materials Engineering graduate program this fall. I attended SJSU for my B.S. in MatE, where I was involved in MatE student organizations and undergraduate research in the chemistry department. A MEMS lab course sparked my interest in semiconductor processing and technology, and led me to take Photovoltaics lab, microfluidics lab, intro to IC process design, and plasma processing of materials. After graduating from SJSU I began a one-year contract with Genesis10 corporation, where I worked onsite at Google with their failure analysis and materials characterization lab. I am now working on a temperature-sensing MEMS master's project while being a teaching associate in an undergraduate course on the electronic, optical, and magnetic properties of materials. 

This scholarship is meaningful to me because I struggled academically in the beginning of my undergraduate coursework for several reasons. I made significant lifestyle changes to put myself in a position where I could focus on my academics, and now I feel I am on the right path.  Receiving an academic award validates my abilities, and encourages me to continue striving towards my goals. In the future, I see myself applying to a PhD program to gain more expertise.

Club affiliations: Material Advantage and Society of Plastics Engineers.

Jason Corona

Ching Family Scholarship

I am a freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering because I want to one day work on sustainable transportation. I enjoy learning about history, especially that of Mexico since it helps me to understand who I am in reference to my culture. In my free time, I like to play basketball with my friends and I like to draw.

This scholarship has helped me to focus on getting an education as my top priority. In the future I see myself using my ME degree to work on different forms of sustainable transportation. Whether expanding public transportation or fueling cars more sustainably, I have always wanted to power transportation in a cleaner way.

Jared Ho

Ching Family Scholarship

I'm a freshman majoring in Computer Engineering. I love computers and technology. In my free time I like to play clarinet when I'm on my own or video games with my friends.

My family has always been supportive for me, including financially. They have encouraged me to focus on my studies. Especially with the recent recession, this scholarship has given me a way to give back to my parents without worrying them about my studies.

I see myself working in Silicon Valley in the future, working for either a smaller company or one of the tech giants, and preferably I would like to experience both.

Haadi Elahi

David A. Brown Fellowship in Mechatronics

I'm a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student from Pleasanton looking to pursue a career in robotics. This fellowship has affirmed that mechatronics is a field I will find success in. As part of the fellowship, I have been contributing as a lab instructor for the “Fundamentals of Mechatronics” course, which has served to strengthen my knowledge of mechatronics and help me grow as an engineer.

I hope to continue my studies by pursuing a master’s degree in controls or robotics. My dream is to work as a robotics engineer in the medical industry and develop new technologies that will solve health problems.
The most impactful professor I had was Professor Fuhrman. In his class I was first exposed to the world of mechatronics. My team project was building an electric skateboard. It was a critical moment in my studies where I felt that, as a mechanical engineer, there was nothing that I wasn’t capable of making.

Club affiliations: Robotics club, Tau Beta Pi (an engineering honor society), Treasurer for Pi Tau Sigma (mechanical engineering honors society).

Stephanie Torres

Ditmore/Lockheed Scholarship

I consider myself a sponge, ready to absorb any skill to add to my toolbox to become a jack of all trades. My general resume includes speaking or signing proficient to fluent American Sign Language, Spanish, Japanese and English, creating dance choreography, volunteering for STEM outreach within my community, machining skills, CAD, and computer programming. I call myself "Renaissance" because I am not shy to try something new.

This scholarship has removed a weight off my shoulders regarding school finances and has allowed me to reduce work hours to completely focus on school. I have also been able to explore the different career resources in Mechanical Engineering and put full attention to any projects or organizations I have joined. 

After graduation, I see myself joining the military, specifically the US Air Force, because it has been my desire to serve while gaining some engineering experience. Also, I see myself pursuing perhaps a volleyball career while being an engineer because it is fun and it is important to stay fit while working in a stressful field.

Club affiliations: MESA Engineering Program, Educational Opportunity Program, Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, SJSU Pool Club, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Shivani Sharma

Emma Legg Scholarship

I'm currently a Junior studying Aerospace Engineering. I'm interested in aeronautics and aviation. Besides engineering in my free time, I love to just watch Netflix or take a long nap.

I see myself pursuing a masters degree in aerospace engineering as well as working within my field either as a quality engineer or process engineer. 

The most impactful project has been SAE (Spartan Racing), and as an aerodynamic engineer, I help design the front and back wing of the race car. My main task is to create the front end plates of the race car and help with testing on mounting as well. This club has been very impactful to my engineering journey, and I've learned so much about different programming including CAD (Solidworks), FEA, Star CCM+, and much more.

Club affiliations: Vice President, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Engineering Without Borders; SAE (Spartan Racing).

Cooper Gable

Harry Wong Scholarship

I am a third-year chemical engineering major.  Some of my favorite hobbies are photography and painting. With these artistic mediums, I primarily capture or paint natural landscapes, and my photography and art passions are interestingly intertwined with what I plan on doing with my chemical engineering degree. I chose to be a chemical engineer because I want to be part of the driving force that innovates new biofuels and battery technologies in order to slow down, and, ultimately, end climate change. I value the importance of nature and I want to try my best to ensure that it stays healthy for the future, because we only have one planet.

The scholarship has enabled me to go to college without having the fear of looming student loans after graduating. That is something that I do not take for granted, and because of this, I strive to do my best academically while I am in college. Additionally, I think that if it was not for the scholarship program, I would have missed out on some of the opportunities and experiences that I have encountered. For that, I am very grateful. 

One of my favorite projects was my Materials Engineering 25 class polymer project. I worked with several other engineering students to create videos and activities for elementary and middle school students. The activities were focused on exposing these students to specific materials engineering topics and to increase engagement. I especially think that introducing engineering to more youths is very valuable, because when I was younger I did not have that level of exposure.

Club affiliation: Engineering Ambassador Program (EAP) since 2018 as a volunteer and a Lead EAP Ambassador. With the position of Lead, I planned and directed an event, several activities, and worked on mentoring high school students with their science fair projects.

Pierce Tyson

Harry Wong Scholarship

I'm a freshman majoring in General Engineering, but thinking of transferring into Computer Engineering. I enjoy working with children through community service (through an inclusion program called E-Soccer, which focuses on bringing kids with typical and special needs together) and as a part time job (Pump-it-Up, a party place for kids), but I have been limited by the pandemic. I also enjoy learning and playing sports like basketball, golf, and lacrosse.

The scholarship has enabled me to focus on my studies, and not have to work simultaneously through a challenging first semester. It has allowed me to transition more easily. 

I see myself working in Silicon Valley for a high-tech firm making innovative products in the computer industry. I would like to continue serving in the community through youth programs.

Julian Columbres

Jane Evans Scholarship

I am currently a second-year software engineering major. I've always been fascinated by tech, problem solving, and exploring new things so I feel I've been placed in the perfect situation studying software engineering here.

This scholarship has allowed me to partake in the college experience without having to worry about my financial situation. It has also allowed me to be more connected to SJSU and the College of Engineering through our events so far. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities this scholarship has granted me.

It has always been my goal to work in an innovative workplace such as Lockheed Martin, Google, and Tesla. I would like to one day contribute to a major tech release that changes how we live. Ideally, I would find a healthy work-life balance where I am constantly growing both in my career and as a person.

So far my favorite project has been the Robotics Project from Engineering 10. It was fun competing against other groups in order to build the fastest robot while trying to keep it as light as possible. As part of the programming team, I found it interesting being able to collaborate with the mechanical and electrical teams and meet different deadlines in order to simulate working in the industry.

Club affiliation: Software and Engineering Society.

Vennis Tinaco

Jane Evans scholarship

I am a Junior and I have been studying Electrical Engineering for the last three years. In my spare time, I love playing video games, watching TV, and spending time with family and friends. I have a passion for electronics and understanding how technology works and this was the leading factor in my pursuit of an EE degree.

The idea of paying to send two sons to college was overwhelming to my parents. Now, thanks to the help of this scholarship, my family has enough money to send my younger brother to college this year. I am so grateful for how much this scholarship has helped not only me, but my entire family. 

In the future, I hope to be a part of a company or organization that is actively working to redefine the idea of "cutting-edge" technology. I love technology and I have had a passion for exploring electronics and their functionality since I was young. After spending a few years at SJSU, this passion has only grown. Now I can observe and understand not only what technology is capable of doing, but how it is able to do it. Being a student at SJSU has provided me with opportunities to work briefly in advanced industries and environments and I look forward to one day working in them fulltime.

Daniel Vargas

Jane Evans Scholarship

I am a kid who is centered around hard work and dedication. I have a love for engineering as well as movies, sports, and pop culture. 

This scholarship has taken a burden off my shoulders, and also helped me purchase the necessary books and hardware to be as successful as I can be. I see myself as an engineering manager.

Building my personal computer is one of the most impactful projects I’ve done because it taught me a lot about the hardware aspect of computers.

Hong Vu

Jane Evans Scholarship

I am a junior who has just transferred from Evergreen Valley College, majoring in Software Engineering. I am very excited to start my journey at SJSU. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and trying new kinds of food. I also have a tiny pomeranian-chihuahua dog named Teddy. 

The scholarship plays a really important role, as it makes college more accessible and affordable to me. Considering the current pandemic situation, many people are suffering financially and my family is no exception. It reduces my financial burden, which allows me to dedicate more time to studying. Furthermore, it confirms that the efforts I have put in my studies are worth it, and that I am on the right track to achieve academic excellence.

In the future, I hope I use the knowledge learned from college to become a software engineer. A potential field that I am very interested in is the development of AI features for autonomous vehicles.

My favorite professor is Dr. Sewan Fan, my physics professor at Evergreen. I was selected by Dr. Fan to join a workshop at Nuro, an autonomous vehicle company, to learn more about the industry. I had a chance to talk to the manager of the engineering department to learn more about their process of building the product, which inspired me to join this industry in the future. 

Bella Wei

Jane Evans Scholarship

I'm a software engineering major in my senior year. I like writing code because it is the most precise way to express my thoughts and creativity.  I enjoy hiking because it resets my mind and body in nature. I love to cook and to hang out with my cats. 

Like everyone knows and experiences, we are in the pandemic. The scholarship is helping me get through this hard time and still perform well in school.

I am a curious, hard-working, and grateful person. I think those qualities are going to drive my  success as an engineer in the future. My curiosity has become the motivation to study and learn. I am passionate about technology and am determined to use my knowledge to make this world a better place. 

I also see myself as a potential scholarship donor in the future. I hope one day I can help one student to finish his school as my donor helps me.

Joseph Drapal

MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) Engineering Program Scholarship

I am a sophomore student pursuing a materials engineering degree. This scholarship has greatly helped me during this semester. My parents are at risk for COVID, and I am staying at home with them. The generous support has allowed me to focus on my schoolwork and extracurricular activities without having to worry for the safety of my parents.

I wish to specialize in 3D printing or nanotechnology. My dream career would be developing new materials at a lab, working with colleagues to develop more efficient materials or manufacturing processes. I met a research group during a tour of the SJSU chemical engineering labs, and have since begun work on a project to create affordable and sustainable building materials for developing countries. This group has shown me that I am capable of helping the world right now, rather than waiting for a completed diploma. It has given me vital experience in creating scientific papers.

Club affiliation: Society of Automotive Engineers electric racing club

Ivan Alvarez Lopez

MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) Engineering Program Scholarship

I am currently a second year Civil Engineering student. I enjoy spending time with family and playing basketball in my free time. I am also a first-generation student and I plan to be the first in my family to graduate from college and hopefully inspire my little sister to do the same. 

This scholarship helps me pay for anything I need for education, whether that be books, supplies, or everyday needs. Every type of financial aid is greatly appreciated and helps take some of the financial burden off of my shoulders. In the future I see myself working as a Civil Engineer and possibly going back for a Masters degree. I also plan to buy a home for my parents for everything they've done and sacrificed for my sister and me.

The most impactful project I have done so far would have to be the Engineering 10 Robot project in my first semester. It was really interesting to see the whole process of building a robot from scratch. I also got a hands-on experience with mechanical, electrical, and programming tasks that opened my eyes to different types of engineering. Overall it really made me enjoy my first semester at SJSU and I haven't looked back since.      

Club affiliations: MESA Engineering Program, Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists. 

Azusena Reyes

MESA Engineering Program Scholarship

I am a sophomore majoring in software engineering. I am friendly, outgoing and I also like getting involved in school. I am Vice President of Academics for the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists. I was also Co-chair for the annual student-led Conference of Engineering Diversity. 

In these difficult times with the pandemic and wildfires, this scholarship will help cover my tuition and school expenses. The pandemic has affected the employment of my parents and with this scholarship, I am able to continue my education.     

I see myself in the future with a Master's in software engineering, as a project manager for a tech company, and even the CEO. I also see myself part of a non-profit organization inspiring Latinas to have a profession. I was a part of a short immersion program at Facebook called “Girls Who Code.” The instructors showed us what it is like to be a female engineer at a big company like Facebook. These women inspired me to want to make a change in a field that has always been dominated by men. After the program, I sought additional exposure by participating in Hackathons, conferences for women in technology, and STEM clubs.   

Club affiliations: MESA Engineering Program, Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists. 

Yasin Chouggar

Steven Meacham Memorial Scholarship

I’m a senior Mechanical Engineering student. I moved from my country 6 years ago, and I made it to a four-year college as a first-generation in the U.S. Throughout my academic work; I’ve developed an enormous interest in renewable energy, and I believe we should rely more on those sources to sustain this planet, which suffers global warming, and many other natural catastrophes owing to human inappropriate actions. Outside of classwork, I am a math tutor and assistant soccer coach. I also love hiking, traveling, and learning languages.

My ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD in heat transfer and fluid mechanics as it is so related to renewable energies (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal…) The current hybrid wind power project we are working at SJSU will be very impactful and sustainable. The combination of solar and wind energy could supply cities and many industries, or even private sectors at lower costs, which would also help shift away from burning fossil fuels, therefore, reduce the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.

Affiliations: Pi Tau Sigma, American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Nathan Dejan

Steven Meacham Memorial Scholarship

I am from Daly City and live with my mom and sister. At St.Ignatius college prep in San Francisco I was senior class president and president of the robotics club. I had an internship at NASA Ames for two summers as an Aerospace Engineering technician. Then at the end of freshman year at SJSU, I interned at Chemical Safety Technology for a year working as a mechanical design engineer. After that I worked at Stellartech Research for 6 months as a Mechanical Engineering intern, designing and documenting medical devices.

Currently, I intern at Applied Materials as a Technical Escalations Engineer. I am also an Eagle Scout and enjoy the outdoors. I am grateful to be one of the recipients of this scholarship and hope to represent it to the best of my ability. This scholarship has validated my hard work and motivates me to finish my last year at SJSU strong. I hope to contribute to the community for it has done a lot for me. Although I am not affiliated with any SJSU clubs, I have worked at NASA Ames Research Center, Applied Materials, Jabil, San Jose Tech Interactive, San Jose Earthquakes, Chemical Safety Technology, and Stellartech Research.

Julia Gosiengfiao

Munson Family Scholarship

I am a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, listening to music or playing with my dog Loki. 

This scholarship has allowed me to meet other students who are also passionate and driven about their careers, and also the donors, who have been able to support me and my education. It's also been incredible to connect with them and get an insight into their careers and possible career paths for me. 

In the future, I see myself graduated and working as a mechanical design engineer in product development for either an automotive or robotics company. I also hope to use my knowledge from SJSU to help these companies focus on using cleaner energy in order to help our environment.

My most impactful professor was Professor Husam Kabbani. He was able to break down Fluid Mechanics and not only make it simple, but also fun. He was also extremely friendly and easy to talk to, so you would never be afraid to ask for help.

Club affiliation: SJSU Theta Tau (professional co-ed engineering fraternity)

Mamta Kanda

Munson Family Scholarship/Akin Scholarship

I am a senior studying Industrial and Systems Engineering. During my free time, I enjoy doing nail art, playing badminton, and spending time with my German Shepard puppy.

As a first-generation Asian American student, this scholarship has served as a reminder that my hard work is paying off. With the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, this scholarship helped alleviate financial concerns and allowed me to remain focused on my studies.

Upon graduation, I see myself working in the industry to gain experience for a couple of years and then returning back to get a master's degree.

All of my professors have helped me master new subjects within my ISE degree. Specifically, Professor Anil Kumar and Chair Dr. Yasser Dessouky, have been valuable mentors by positively impacting my college career and providing me with all the tools to be a successful student.

Club affiliations: Currently Vice President of Tau Beta Pi (an Engineering Honor Society); former  President of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering Organization at SJSU. Society of Women Engineers, M.E.S.A Engineering Program, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Chirag Kaudan

Munson Family Scholarship

I have a deep passion for math/physics and computer science, and I love learning in general. There is an endless amount to learn, much of which is fascinating, relative to my interests. 

In addition to the fact that financial aid that is alleviating some of the pressure of tuition, this scholarship has also allowed me to connect with scholars in the same general field of study as I am and has allowed me to familiarize myself with some of the faces that I will (hopefully) be seeing on campus in the future. Our previous meeting/checkup has allowed me to connect with a few scholars in my major.

I would very much like to work in a field of engineering, particularly in computer engineering or computer science. I find computer science complicatedly fascinating and I do always love challenges. Computers are such powerful tools we tend to take for granted -- think of all the brilliant minds that went behind developing the physics for computers, transistors, and the math behind computer science. I want to include myself in the realm of computer scientists, engineers, and physicists, whether that will be working in a more corporate style or more towards research in graduate school.

Jinann Alzaghari

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

I am a third year student 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 two 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.

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 field of renewable energy. 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.

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. 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 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. 

Club affiliations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and the Muslim Student Association.

Elaina Davey

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

I'm a freshman at and play water polo for SJSU! Originally I'm from SoCal, so I spend a lot of time at the beach and wetlands hanging out with friends or taking bad pictures of birds.

This scholarship has been really important to me and my family because it's made pursuing flight school a lot more financially reasonable

In the future, I see myself in the sky.

Zachary DeBuhr

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

I am a 2nd year student. Outside of studying mechanical engineering I am very interested in cars (especially classics). I play piano and drums and I love to travel and take pictures of places that most people would pass right by. I want to travel to as many different locations as I can to learn about culture and history and of course, take pictures. 

This scholarship has made me hold myself to a higher standard because it makes me realize that whenever I am stuck or in a situation that seems like it is going to set me back (which seems to be happening more and more with the current world situation) I have a great support system that I can reach for and can help me solve whatever problem I may be facing.      

I see myself with a Mechanical Engineering and possibly a Business degree as well and using what I have learned to create a path for myself and create a niche for an engineer in a foreign country. The most impactful project on me so far has been building and programming a robot online for Introductory Engineering Class. It has given me a lot of insight in methods and tools used by engineers who have to work on a computer to complete a task.

Club Affiliations: SJSU Formula SAE, Aerospace Club

Alec Jaculina

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

I am a first-generation transfer student majoring in Industrial Systems Engineering.

This scholarship has been a blessing for my family and me. Not being able to find a job during this difficult time has left me feeling scattered, so being given this scholarship has saved my mental and physical health. It also has helped my family because I wouldn't have to ask my parents for help financially. 

In the future, I can see working at Disney or at a company that deals with medical devices as an industrial systems engineer. I want to be able to pay it forward and mentor students that are in similar situations as I am.

The most impactful professor that I had was Albert Wong from my Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Graphics class. He was able to give me a full insight into what the industry is like, which allowed me to strive even harder for the goals that I want.

Club affiliations: Institute Industrial Systems of Engineering and Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.

Kaeleen Sapelli

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

I fell in love with engineering around middle school but I wasn't convinced that was what I wanted to do. I got to high school and after a few engineering classes and an astrophysics class I knew aerospace was what I wanted to do.

This scholarship has made college and living on campus a possibility and now a reality for me. When I was a kid I started saving money for college. Every cent I found went towards it but college is expensive. Receiving this scholarship made college a less daunting task for me and my family and for that I am so grateful.

In the future I hope to be working for a company in aerospace. I hope to be doing research and designing telescopes and probes to learn more about the universe. I want my work to benefit more than one person or group. I have so many questions and In the future I hope I am working to answer them.

One person who has impacted my education has been another scholar, Wyatt Goodsite. I was always so impressed with how well Wyatt worked, how he could manage a hundred different things for everybody so calmly. After working with him I hope to be able to do the same in the future.

Club affiliations: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sarah Walker

Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship

I am an Electrical Engineering student preparing to graduate in December 2020. I became interested in engineering while I was in high school and worked on a prosthetic hand with Santa Clara University's Society of Women Engineers to send to those in need in a developing nation. From then I have loved using my knowledge of math and science to solve problems that directly impact the well-being of society and create change for our future world. When I am not in class or studying I love to be outside in nature, also reading, learning, and being creative with friends and family.

This scholarship has impacted me in so many ways. First it let me attend a four-year university to pursue my engineering degree in Silicon Valley (SJSU was my first choice). This scholarship allowed me to give my attention to my studies and become the best engineer I can be without having to maintain a full-time job. This scholarship also gave me the confidence to pursue my degree knowing that the College of Engineering and the scholar donors behind this scholarship support and believe in my goals and dreams.

I’m looking forward to starting my engineering career, aspiring to one day be CEO of an innovative company leading and inspiring people to create positive change within the world. I dream to be a CEO not for the title, but for the influence to create a positive impact, just as I was taught by the programs that inspired me to pursue engineering at the forefront. I hope to also pursue a graduate degree in the future and be the best engineer I can be. 

Club affiliations: MEP/MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement),  as well as Associated Students as the College of Engineering Student Representative for the Academic Affairs Committee.