BESST Welcomes New Freshman Cohorts As Program Enters Its Seventh Year

BESST students complete exerciseIncoming engineering freshman Anaya Blade is no stranger to California State University Long Beach. She attended high school at the nearby SATO Academy of Mathematics and Science, and has been participating in Future Girls at the Beach since her freshman year of high school and in the National Society of Black Engineers since she was a junior.

In mid-August, she was among more than three dozen members of the incoming cohort of the CSULB Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST) to attend the Engineering Summer Academy, a five-day program that exposes them to professional engineers and strategies for achieving success at university. Continue reading “BESST Welcomes New Freshman Cohorts As Program Enters Its Seventh Year”

POLB Executive Director Tells Students: ‘You can Imagine Anything You Want’

Dean Golshani, Mario Cordero, and Nicole Forrest Boggs
Dean Forouzan Golshani, left, with Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero and Director of Development Nicole Forrest Boggs.

Mario Cordero remembers what it was like to graduate high school and walk onto a large and unfamiliar campus preparing to study engineering. His father had immigrated from Mexico and worked at a manufacturing plant in Compton. His mother spoke little English.

“Neither one of my parents had gone to college,” said Cordero, now executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “The only professionals we came into contact with were engineers.”

His father suggested he study engineering. “Here I was—12 years old and I wanted to be a baseball player or a musician. Engineering was kind of foreign to me,” he told students enrolled in the CSULB BESST Engineering Summer Academy. Continue reading “POLB Executive Director Tells Students: ‘You can Imagine Anything You Want’”

Siemens Director Mia Fujii Shares Her 3 Tips for Success with BESST Students

Mia Fujii and her books
Mia Fujii is author of the book “Ladies…Make It Your Time Now.”

If you remember people’s names, you’ll go far. That was one of three tips that Mia Fujii of Siemens shared with incoming students in the CSULB Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST) to help them connect with more people. And she said it’s not only important to remember people’s names, but also know what they like to be called and how to spell their names.

Director of license compliance at Siemens Digital Industries and a member of the CSULB College of Engineering’s 100+ Women Strong Steering Committee, Fujii was one of six industry speakers that BESST students got to hear from during the Engineering Summer Academy. Continue reading “Siemens Director Mia Fujii Shares Her 3 Tips for Success with BESST Students”

College of Engineering 2019 Outstanding Graduate Got Start in BESST and BUILD

Jairo ContrerasMechanical engineering senior Jairo Maldonado-Contreras has been named the CSULB College of Engineering’s 2019 Outstanding Graduate. A member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, he has held internships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University.

After graduation from CSULB, he will pursue a PhD in robotics at GeorgiaTech, studying human-intent recognition algorithms used to control prostheses and exoskeletons under advisor Dr. Aaron Young.

Continue reading “College of Engineering 2019 Outstanding Graduate Got Start in BESST and BUILD”

BESST Graduate Prepares for Doctorate

Jairo Maldonado-Contreras

Attending high school on California’s Central Coast, Jairo Maldonado-Contreras got good grades, but didn’t plan to attend college. He sent out a few applications because his friends did, and was surprised when he was accepted at Long Beach State University.

Contreras chose to study engineering because he liked math. He also hoped to provide a better life for his mother, Rosa, who supports the family by picking strawberries. “When I got my acceptance, she was happy for me but also brokenhearted that I was moving three hours away,” he said. “We were always accustomed to looking after each other.”

Luckily for Contreras, he arrived at Long Beach State as the College of Engineering was establishing the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST), a support program for incoming freshmen, particularly those from diverse backgrounds and with greatest need. Students attend a summer camp before the semester starts, go to classes and social activities as a group, and receive individual and group tutoring and mentoring. Continue reading “BESST Graduate Prepares for Doctorate”

Professional Engineers Share College and Career Experiences with BESST Students

As an engineering undergrad in the 1960s, Jeff Clements was told by one professor that he wasn’t “college material.” But that didn’t stop Clements from earning his bachelor’s degree in 1962—then his master’s and doctorate—and go on to help produce space hardware for top aerospace companies such as Hughes, TRW, and Raytheon.

Clements, the first African-American CSULB student to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, was one of two speakers to share experiences Monday with incoming students of the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST), which features intensive tutoring and cohort-based classes. Continue reading “Professional Engineers Share College and Career Experiences with BESST Students”