What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
When it comes to being a leader, I much rather take a supportive role because it is those roles that are more specialized in every design. However, I do find leadership as an essential skill that is needed at crucial times. One specific situation that comes to mind was during one of my engineering projects in which I had to design an over-sand autonomous vehicle. At first someone else was delegated as leader and our group was working pretty well until the actual design phase of the project. People started to get lazy,distrust developed, and that initial enthusiasm was gone. At this time I inadvertently became the leader as I took on extra tasks, such as making CAD models and design reports, and began talking to different subgroups, such as mechanical, electrical, and software. During my free time, I began to learn the specific skills needed to communicate more effectively with each subgroup and help them with specific problems. Team members began to really on me for work delegation and asked for my opinion on designs and requirements. I began to hold group meetings and began to stay overtime at workshops during the construction phase. At times I would privately speak with members who were not holding their fair share, and even held them accountable when no one else would after it started to become a repeated offense. Sometimes I do feel bad taking over someone else's role, but I do think a leader is someone who steps up at crucial times when your team members are becoming disjoint. A leader is someone that leads by example and not a title. Although I would still prefer a more supportive role due to the opportunity to just come up with a unique design for a component of the overall design, I am glad that at any point I could use my leadership skills to inspire others and salvage a project.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
The scholarship has allowed me to feel some temporary financial security and permitted me to place my focus on something else, my studies. The first semester I received my scholarship, I decided to take this opportunity to really test myself, thus I took 7 classes, almost double the number of classes from a regular semester. Overall, I was able to clear several requirements for my double major after that semester and my grades were also pretty successful. Taking a vast array of classes offered me so much, from learning different computing languages such as C++ ROOT and MATLAB, to the theories of Physics and Engineering with several lab applications. It was a pretty productive semester. Unfortunately, this current semester I was unable to take the same about of classes due to several schedule conflicts; however, for the following fall semester I plan to keep up the strong work load by doing research in robotics with one of my professors, allowing me the chance to finally apply all the knowledge I have gathered so far.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
I hope to make a positive difference in the world by revolutionizing robotics, at least in its mechanical aspect. Imagine a world where any limb or organ that has been tragically lost from accidents, birth defects, or disease could be restored artificially with a fully functioning mechanic apparatus. People who have lost their sight could see again with artificial optics. People who have lost their legs in an accident, could walk again with the most natural pair of artificial legs. Whether it be a kidney or heart, I wish for a world where technology can offer a solution to those in need of one. However; ultimately I wish I would be able to combine all these parts in an elaborate robot that we could see ourselves in and express our humanity. I wish for a world in which that very technology that has helped us advance for so long could gain some form of humanity.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
Major: Physics and Mathematics
Graduation Year: 2018
Tell us about your favorite class, extracurricular activity, academic opportunity, community involvement or another unique experience.
I took my favorite class last semester on Fall 2015. It was an Honors seminar about the discovery of the Higgs boson. Although I really love the engineering side of Physics more, studying some of the theoretical concepts, especially the more complicated subjects just as special relativity and quantum mechanics, was really interesting. In this class I became an official member of CERN and was able to study some of their data through Monte Carlo Simulations with the new language that was thought to us, C++ ROOT. This class was a real unique opportunity and I was able to expand my knowledge to a wider field by experiencing the dynamic way of thinking from the scientists that developed the LHC and discovered the revolutionary Higgs boson. Although not within my career field, these skills I developed through this class will offer me a different insight in approaching problems within the engineering world.