Engineers Week 2023 Highlights: Meet our Student Leaders

February 20, 2023
Engineers Week Student Highlights

This National Engineers Week 2023 (February 20-26), we're highlighting five engineering student leaders across our college to showcase the work they're doing, the research they're conducting, and the impact they are making on both SDSU and the field of engineering.

Jessie Thompson
Major: Aerospace Engineering 
Minor: Business Administration
Year: 4th year
Hometown: Murphys, CA
How you got involved as a peer advisor/peer navigator: I was notified about the opportunity through MESA and through that organization they taught me how to use the tools that I use to help students as a peer advisor. 
Favorite part of your work as a peer advisor/peer navigator: My favorite part is getting to help students and give advice about classes and professional development. 
Most challenging class you've taken: AE 410
Favorite undergraduate memory: One of my favorite memories is watching the SDSU men's basketball team my freshman year. It was the 2019-2020 season and they went undefeated for the longest in the country. 
A routine that helps you stay grounded: At least one day a week of a rest day or fun day where you do not do any homework or work. Additionally, getting some form of exercise every day which could be a full workout to a short walk. 
Advice for students taking Engineering courses here at SDSU: Form study groups and make friends with your peers in your classes early on. The people you see in your lower-division classes will most likely be with you in the upper-division classes. 

Tristan Arenzana
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Year: 3rd Year, Junior
Hometown: Camarillo, CA
How you got involved as a peer advisor/peer navigator: I was shared the opportunity to work through my friend and fellow peer navigator, Elias Enguancho.
Favorite part of your work as a peer advisor/peer navigator: My favorite part about being a peer navigator is solving the many problems students have during scheduling their classes. As an upperclassmen it's great to share my knowledge and experience to those who are going through the same struggles I did as an underclassmen. It's also fun running into people I've advised throughout campus and them recognizing me and telling me that I helped them out.
Most challenging class you've taken: ME-350 Thermodynamics
Favorite undergraduate memory: Going to a beach bonfire with my friends through the cultural organization, APSA, in the fall semester of my second year. 
A routine that helps you stay grounded: I hit the ARC at least 3-4 times a week and it helps me relieve stress and stay fit. I'm usually lifting weights or occasionally playing basketball or volleyball with friends.
Advice for students taking Engineering courses here at SDSU: Make study groups and friends within classes early. Study groups allow for group thinking and problem solving which allows for a better learning environment rather than being on your own. Also have a planner and stay ahead of assignments and exams!

Victoria Gabriela Powell
Major: Environmental Engineering
Minor: Women's Studies 
Year: Senior
Hometown: San Diego, CA
How you got involved as a peer advisor/peer navigator: One day a few semesters ago as I was getting checked in for my own advising appointment I had noticed that the engineering office had student workers. This peaked my interest, as I wanted to be more involved with the engineering department here at SDSU. I reached out to Damien Rosales, our supervisor, and after interviewing I was given the position.
Favorite part of your work as a peer advisor/peer navigator: My favorite part about work is the connections I've made, as well as being able to help students whenever possible.
Most challenging class you've taken: Two classes that were difficult for me pre-major status were Fluid Mechanics (AE 340) as well as the third sequence of Physics (PHYS 197).
Favorite undergraduate memory: While I worked for Associated Students before this position, one of my coworkers was a contestant on the Bachelorette. This was my favorite memory as I had the pleasure of participating in our team's live viewing of the show in the Theatre every week, where we would comment, laugh, and enjoy the show. 
A routine that helps you stay grounded: Moving is very important. I like to exercise, stretch, take a walk, or practice some Yoga when I'm feeling stressed. Additionally, before a big exam I will often walk laps around campus to ease any stress. As an engineering student, sometimes people forget to put themselves first before the books. It's important to take the time to focus on your own health.
Advice for students taking Engineering courses here at SDSU: It's okay to approach professors or to keep meeting with them during office hours if something doesn't make sense to you, even if they have already explained it to youI have taken difficult classes where I attended office hours every week, and the support and motivation of wanting to learn helped me succeed. Even if you aren't succeeding in the class, reach out to the Professor. They might be able to provide some insight to help you get on the right track. Since professors teach their material so often, something that seems simple to them might be confusing for a newer student, so ask your professors questions often and attend office hours!

Jarred Sampayan
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Year: 4th year, 2023
Hometown: Killeen, TX
How I got involved: Oliver, a previous peer advisor referred me to this job. 
Favorite Part: My supervisor, very forgiving. Also, being able to talk about my experience with students within my major.
Hardest Class: AE410, structural/mechanical vibrations.
Favorite Memory: Wokring New Student Orientation during Summer 2022.
A routine that helps me stay grounded: Very cliche, but waking up early did more for me than what I gave it credit for. 
Advice for Students: Sooner or later, you will realize that being an overachiever is necessary. 

Scarlett Alexander
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Year: Graduate Student, graduating Spring 2023
Hometown: La Habra, California
How you got involved as a grad student researcher: I joined the ME4+1 program and talked to many ME professors about their research. My passion for environmental justice matched well with Dr. Abraham's research to conduct a life cycle assessment on electric vehicles. I started working with Dr. Abraham my senior year at SDSU.
Favorite part of your work as a grad student researcher: getting to research and complete a study that is beneficial for the environment
Most challenging class you've taken: Mechanical Vibrations
Favorite undergraduate memory: meeting my best friend, Lizzie Annison
A routine that helps you stay grounded: morning meditations and weekly journaling
Advice for students taking Engineering courses here at SDSU: Remind yourself you are smart enough to be where you are. It can feel intimidating at times to be surrounded by so many intelligent engineering students, but know that you are one of them.
Your engineering degree is a powerful thing. Please use it to help others and better the world!
Categorized As