Incoming 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.
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.”
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.
Mechanical 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.
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”
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.