UTEP’s 2015 Top 10 Seniors Recognized
DAVID CHAVEZ & ESMERALDA TREVIÑO | May 15, 2015 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
Each year, The University of Texas at El Paso presents some of its most promising future alumni with the Top 10 Seniors award, which recognizes graduating or recently graduated students. The award reflects the true spirit of what it means to be an outstanding student and a proud Miner.
"When you look at the process, the minimum criteria will only get you into the pool of eligibility," said Richard Daniel, Ph.D., associate vice president for University advancement and special projects. "It goes beyond a high GPA – the students must excel in academia at UTEP and outside the classroom and into the community."
The Top 10 Seniors for 2015 were chosen based on a combination of academic achievement, involvement, leadership and service both in the community and on campus, as well as the impression they have made on others during their time at UTEP. Nominees must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or greater and be receiving their first undergraduate degree within the current academic year.
"At the end of the day, the Top 10 represent the student body," Daniel said. "They reflect the quality of the student. Each of them have similar backgrounds and have excelled, worked hard, made a difference and recognized the opportunities that come with their hard work, which speaks volumes about our students."
Mayela Renata Aldaz-Cervantes
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Throughout her time at The University of Texas at El Paso, Mayela Renata Aldaz-Cervantes has been very active in different student organizations, internships and her overall studies. During her undergraduate career, she seized every opportunity for research and professional development, including developing biomaterials for liver cells at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology for two summers and studying components from the space shuttle Columbia to provide better materials for future spaceflight with UTEP's Center for Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR). She has traveled extensively to represent UTEP. Her research and training prepared her to be a materials engineer and researcher. She hopes to begin her Ph.D. in materials engineering this fall at The University of California, Santa Barbara.
Karla Verónica Becerra
"At the start of my engineering education, I doubted the extent of accomplishments I could achieve as a woman in engineering," said Karla Verónica Becerra. "However, I now realize that being a woman in engineering is an empowerment." Throughout her undergraduate career, Becerra took advantage of all of the great opportunities made available to her. Although she was a freshmen at the time, Becerra was offered her first internship with General Motors Global Fuel Lab for a College Cooperative. After her success at GM, Becerra was offered a second opportunity at the Lake Orion Assembly Center, where she helped launch the Chevy Sonic and Buick Verano under the Chassis Issue Resolution Team. She later completed an internship with the Central Intelligence Agency. Her final internship was with the Intel Corporation, where she assisted in price negotiations and helped the company with cost savings. Becerra plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration in the near future.
Joselyn Cardenas Anaya
Joselyn Cardenas Anaya was the first in her family to attend college. She knew there would be many challenges when she started as a mechanical engineering major. Early on, Cardenas Anaya participated in student organizations and internships, including serving as vice president for The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). When she joined the Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) chapter, she worked with engineering applications. As captain of the safety team for the international Baja SAE competition, she participated in the design, building and coordination process of an off-road vehicle. Her participation in hands-on extracurricular activities at UTEP prepared her for an internship with Boeing in Seattle, where she is now employed. "My dream has always been designing airplanes, since I was five, so just being near airplanes is the best," she said.
Lisa Marie Haisan
Being in the Texas Pre-Freshman Engineering Program at The University of Texas at El Paso convinced Lisa Marie Haisan to pursue a degree in civil engineering at the University. Her involvement on campus continued when she joined the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), where she helped with the ASCE's concrete canoe and steel bridge teams. She became one of the six teammates and the only woman from UTEP to compete as a builder during the 2012 Texas-Mexico Regional Steel Bridge Competition in Houston, Texas, where her team won first place. She later performed research on NASA-sponsored projects. Haisan also conducted research in the Center for Inland Desalination Systems (CIDS) lab at UTEP where she designed an environmentally sustainable system for developing countries that could be powered solely by renewable energy. Overall, UTEP has allowed her to develop leadership skills and prepare her for future endeavors.
Refer to the announcement by University Communications for the full list of Top 10 Seniors.