University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

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Mary E. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Director of Diversity Research and Initiatives
Tel: 608/890-3349
Email: mfitzpatrick@engr.wisc.edu

Desiree D. Alva
Assistant Director for Undergraduate and Retention Programs
Tel: 608/265-9042
Email: dalva@engr.wisc.edu

Brian Núñez
Assistant Director for Outreach and Pre-College Programs
Tel: 608/263-5367
Email: bcnunez@engr.wisc.edu

Cesar Martinez
DAO Program Coordinator
Tel: 608/890-1403
Email: cdmartinez@engr.wisc.edu

Diversity Affairs Office
College of Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Room 1147 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: 608/890-1403

 

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A group of students make a circle while engaging in some team building exercises

With so many students involved, it's a challenge getting to know them all! 

Student of the Month Profiles

Korey Jasper*


Rufus King Alumni Korey Jasper from Milwaukee, WI got accepted into his department early in his sophomore year and is planning to double major in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. Jasper’s interest in engineering first came about when he was in fifth grade and continued to flourish in high school. When he was a junior, he attended the Engineering Summer Program and was exposed to all different types of engineering. However, the one that stuck out to him the most was Chemical Engineering. This outstanding student was one of the few freshmen that were able to earn an internship. He interned at Rockwell Automation as a member of the Product Certification team underneath the Operations and Engineering Services “umbrella.” There he was able to spend lots of time with the Chemistry and Materials Department dealing with product failures. Jasper feels that he gained a lot from his internship experience. He says that he feels more prepared to enter the real world now that he has an idea of how a real company functions. He also learned how to be a much better networker by increasing his confidence in his speaking skills. Jasper’s future plans are to get a job in the food industry as soon as he graduates and travel the world. He lightheartedly says that he wants to be a productive part of society and have fun while doing it. For future engineers, Jasper recommends to always work hard, even if you are naturally good at math and science. He assures you it will only get harder, but putting in the effort early on will make you more comfortable in doing the same later on. He also wants to tell future engineers that salary should never dictate what field you choose to enter. Do what you love. Jasper also recommends being involved whether it be by joining clubs or pre-college programs.



Daniel Ramirez


Growing up Daniel Ramirez moved around a lot with his family. He was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, but spent most of his life growing up in Chicago. Ramirez did, however, spend a short time living in Sheboygan, WI where he graduated from North High School in 2005. He is now in his fifth year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Electrical Engineering, specializing in Digital Signal Processing where he works with and analyzes computer signals.

Coming to UW-Madison was the only option for Ramirez when he decided to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering. Ramirez spent much of his time going to the library to research about this career, reading up about power and electrical engineering. “I really wanted to know what I wanted to do before starting college” said Ramirez.

Ramirez does share with the DAO that another reason that sparked his interest in the field was when he went on a trip to Mexico at age 12. He met a friend who was building circuits, and decided to help out. Doing the work involved a lot of soldering, which means to join or unite parts together (pronounced sod’er). Working on this project Ramirez learned how to solder and had enjoyed the intricate and detailed work that it involved.

He continues to put into practice what he enjoys learning and doing by taking part in a research lab called Electro Magnetic Fields and Waves. It is his third year working in the lab. Ramirez landed this lab position through his interpersonal relationships with professors. A professor already had Ramirez lined up for the position, it was just up to him to take it and he did. Through this lab position, Ramirez has learned a great deal of skills. “I learned a lot of hands on experience, as well as getting something up and running. Designing something doesn’t always work, but then figuring out a solution is a really good skill to have as an engineer,” said Ramirez.

Although Ramirez works in a research lab, he has a job at the Electronics Company where he has worked there for four years now. The job entails building electronic circuit boards, setting up machines, inspecting for, or repairing defective products. He has been able to balance both school and work schedules because of the company’s flexibility. If not, he would not get this opportunity to practice what he enjoys so much about electrical engineering.

On top of such a busy schedule of school, lab, and work, Ramirez is a high academic achiever. He is a Leaders in Engineering and Excellence (L.E.E.D.) Scholar and involved and recognized in two Honor Society Programs as an engineer. Just recently he received an award from the Alliant Energy Foundation recognizing his academic success and achievement at UW-Madison. “This award has given me a lot of confidence in what I am doing. I feel important to be standing in a room full of intelligent people where I can contribute to any sort of engineering challenges.”

In his last year at UW-Madison, Ramirez is lined up for a job interviews and finding a company where he sees himself enjoying the work that he is doing. He is most interested in specialty devices, for example a device that measures heart rate, green energy, or communications. Some advice he shares with future engineering students is, “Prepare yourself for eventually working on a project that you enjoy. In Electrical Engineering, you can come up with an idea and make it into a project.”



Hope Marshall*


Hailing from Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, WI, Hope Marshall is currently a junior at UW-Madison, double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Spanish, with a certificate in Business. Hope chose this academic path because her interests in problem solving, math and healthcare made Biomedical Engineering the most logical choice! In addition to her academic coursework, Hope spends a lot of her time leading and participating in student organizations on campus. She is the outreach coordinator of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) as well as Executive co-chair of Engineering Expo, a biennial student-run campus event. In both of these organizations, she gets to work in something she is very passionate about: Pre-collegiate outreach. For example, in SHPE, Hope works with high school students in Milwaukee and in Madison to promote science, engineering and leadership. Another goal of outreach initiatives by both of these organizations is to bridge the gap between high school and college, with the aim of helping students become better prepared for college. This ambitious student also started her own organization called Badgers Embroidered Adornments Relief (B.E.A.R.). B.E.A.R. members embroider bracelets for charity while also learning about international current events. Hope’s executive roles have allowed her to grow as a leader, communicator, and team member. She believes it is important to have a balance between school and extracurricular activities in order to get the most out of the college experience as well as to work on personal and academic development. Upon graduation, Hope plans to go to dental school in Milwaukee or on the West Coast. Some might find that odd, but in reality many Engineering students at UW are pre-med, pre-dental, or pre-law! Hope knows that the skills she is acquiring as an engineering major are invaluable and will definitely help her in the field of dentistry. Hope’s advice for future Engineers: Take the time to figure out your passions, and then pursue them! Many people switch majors multiple times. It is important to be open-minded about different engineering and non-engineering majors. Also, take advantage of the resources available to you academically. Though asking for help can be hard at times, engineering classes are difficult and asking for help can be the best way to truly learn and understand the material. It will also help you feel more engaged and interested in class.



Jean Villagomez


Jean is from Bolingbrook, IL and attended Bolingbrook High School, a diverse school of about 3,500 students in the suburbs of Chicago. Today she is a senior majoring in Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Villagomez has taken full advantage of her time in college by participating in a number of campus organizations and internships. She is currently the President of the Bellydancing UW Club. She has been involved for quite some time now and also held other leader-ship positions within the club. She enjoys being able to take a break from school to have fun and dance, all while gaining valuable leadership skills. Villagomez is also in Kappa Eta Kappa (KHK), a co-ed professional engineering fraternity, in which she has met a number of engineering students. She also is a member of Engineers With-out Borders (EWB), where she has been able to travel to Haiti to implement EWB’s mission.

When she graduates with her undergraduate degree, Villagomez plans to go straight to graduate school to get her Masters in Industrial Engineering at UW-Madison with an emphasis in health care. Another option she has is to go right into industry, in manufacturing or consulting, and later go back to graduate school after five years of experience. If she takes this route, she will most likely go back to school to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to go towards a management position.

Here are some valuable words of advice from our student spotlight, “There are so many opportunities and important connections students should utilize. The university offers so many helpful resources that will help students be successful now and in the future. There are also so many staff and faculty members that are willing to help students and offer their knowledge and professional connections. Even though I took advantage of most of these, I still wish I utilized them even more.”



Jerry McGinnis*


Jerome McGinnis, a graduate of Arrowhead High School in Hartland, WI is majoring in Chemical Engineering and is also pursuing the Biology in Engineering Certificate. He decided on chemical engineering because of its versatility and high demand within industry, which means he’ll have the ability to work for almost any company. Jerry is especially interested in energy technologies, so chemical engineering is a great fit! Jerry has gained a lot of hands-on experience in engineering through his two years working for the UW-Madison Water Science Engineering Lab. He has been able to apply the material in his chemistry and engineering classes to his job in a real life setting. Because of his experiences in the lab, Jerry might pursue a job in research and development.

This well-rounded student is also very involved on campus through student organizations. For example, he is a L.E.E.D. Scholar and a Chancellor’s Scholar. Both of these programs have allowed him to meet with students who have a similar background as him and have also offered guidance and assistance in reaching his goals. Jerry also was a Badger Volunteer, serving as a tutor at Black Hawk Middle School in Madison. He found the experience enlightening and enjoyed getting to know all of the students. Another interesting activity he has participated in is the UW Club Ultimate Frisbee team. In fact, he has met some of his best friends through the team. Jerry has also been fortunate enough to participate in an opportunity that a growing number of students are taking advantage of as they try to distinguish themselves from their peers: Studying Abroad. Jerry studied abroad in 2012 in Singapore through International Engineering Studies and Programs (IESP). Jerry tells us it’s the most exciting thing he has done as an undergrad. While studying abroad, Jerry has been able to explore other nearby countries and their unique cultures including Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. He enjoys experiencing different cultures, seeing how other people live and meeting many new friends. He has also had the amazing opportunity to go snorkeling in Thailand, surfing in Bali, see national parks in Malaysia and volcanoes in Java. In Java, little kids ran up to him, introduced themselves, and practiced their English on him. The experience really left an impression on him. On top of all this, Jerry loves food and the trip allowed him to sample a number of the local delicacies, which are completely different from the typical Asian food found on the UW campus. He highly recommends studying abroad for anyone who has the chance because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Jerry plans on working for a company that deals with energy related products. There is a good job market for chemical engineers in the Gulf Coast with petroleum, so he might start his career there. To future engineers he has these words of advice: “Keep working hard to reach your goals. Engineering is a difficult major, but if you stay focused and work hard, you’ll accomplish your goals.”



Jessica Rubio*


Hello Future Engineers! My name is Jessica Rubio. I am originally from Oak Lawn, IL, on the south-side of Chicago. I graduated from Mother McAuley H.S. in 2010. Currently, I am a sophomore at UW, where I intend to earn a Dual Degree in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, as well as a Certificate in Energy Sustainability.

Ever since 7th grade, it was my dream to make an impact in the world. After watching a lot of science shows, reading about leading scientists, and having a great physics teacher in high school, I decided I would dedicate myself to learning the skills required to become an engineer in order to someday make a major difference. I also want to give back to the community by helping future engineers succeed and give them hope that they too can change the world.

When people hear the phrase “Nuclear Engineering,” they immediately think of bombs, and assume that is what I want to do. However, I want to study nuclear reactors and find alternative resources to stabilize our energy needs. In particular, I want to study fusion reactors or go into physics research so I can study aspects of neutrino or dark matter in the future. After I graduate, I hope to work at the Fermilab, which does physics research, in Batavia, IL, or Argonne Labs, located in Lemont, IL. After a few years in the workplace, I plan on going back to school for my PhD in Nuclear Engineering.

My freshman year, I received an internship opportunity for a company called TRANE, which makes energy-efficient heating and cooling (HVAC) systems. My team and I worked side-by-side with professional engineers to create solutions to transform the heating and cooling systems in our math building to be more “environmentally friendly”. Also, I have been involved in two research groups: The Lindroth Labs group in the Entomology Department, and now the Plasma Group on the Madison Symmetric Torus for Professor Daniel J. Den Hartog in the Physics Department. In this latest project, I am learning how to build and use different tools to make necessary items for our project. My internship and research opportunities have really helped me get involved in my college interest learn about different aspects of engineering, teamwork, and also to create relationships with professional engineers. During my first year of college, there were many different student organizations I wanted to get involved with. I was involved with the Wisconsin Engineer Magazine as one of the photographers, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and was a Badger Volunteer. Currently, I am in the Leaders in Engineering Excellence and Diversity Scholars & Powers-Knapp Scholars Programs, as well as in a technical science and engineering sorority called Alpha Omega Epsilon. These student organizations have helped me meet a lot of new people, and have also helped me gain new perspectives.

Advice for future engineers: First, always have confidence and never feel discouraged if you take a challenging class… Utilize your resources on campus! From tutoring to talking to your professors, you will find that challenging classes are not impossible to earn high grades in. Second, start looking for research projects on campus for more experience and to help you create relationships with professional engineers. Third, study abroad; studying abroad will help you gain new perspectives and make new friends. Lastly, always try new things, and get involved on campus. There are so many student organizations on this campus that you are bound to find something that catches your interest! Future engineers are needed everywhere. In order to solve world issues, we need to band together in order to create profound solutions. Our world is always changing and developing new ideas and technology every day. If you want to be a part of all this great innovation, I believe that you should all attend UW-Madison and become that great engineer, so you too can make a difference!



Alex Sanchez


A recent graduate from Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, WI, Alex Sanchez is looking forward to having many new experiences here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As Rockwell Automation’s newly selected 2012 scholar, Sanchez has already set into motion future plans and goals as a first-year student. His interest in engineering sparked when he discovered that it relied heavily on ingenuity and creativity, and these are skills Sanchez possesses. He plans to major in chemical engineering. Already involved with student organizations and still looking for several opportunities offered on campus, Sanchez is excited to meet other students who share his interests too. “I plan to network, network, network. Getting my name out there is the best way to help with job offers and internships,” said Sanchez. Some advice Sanchez shares for high school students is to, “Do what you enjoy, not because you need things to put on college applications. Being you is what is going to help you the most in the real world”.