SAC Engineering Student Wins Scholarship to ASU
July 8, 2021
After graduating from high school in 2018, Jazmin Lopez wasn’t sure that college was in her future, and she had definitely never considered a career in engineering.
Today, she has an associate of science degree in engineering from SAC, along with a full scholarship to Arizona State University (ASU) to pursue a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering which includes leadership training to help solve global challenges.
None of that seemed possible when she began working full-time after high school, but her coworkers encouraged her to continue her education.
She started by taking classes that sounded interesting. An architecture course introduced her to the innovation and problem-solving aspects of engineering.
“In the class we would often talk about how architecture and engineering intertwine, and I realized that’s what I really wanted to do,” she said.
In her first engineering class, Professor Ashley Rosilier had students join SAC’s Mathematics-Engineering-Science-Achievement (MESA) Center, which supports those in science, technology, engineering and math programs.
MESA connected Lopez to a variety of workshops, events and opportunities, such as a virtual engineering Job Shadow Day that connected her with H-E-B’s architecture and engineering team.
“I was able to join so many experiences through MESA,” Lopez said. “There are so many resources and fun ways to get involved.”
When Rosilier heard that Lopez planned to transfer to ASU, she told her about a scholarship available through the university’s Next Generation Service Corps, a program in which students pursue their chosen major while undertaking leadership development training to work on real-world issues in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
After a rigorous application process, Lopez won a full scholarship. She plans to use her civil engineering degree to work on interests including sustainability and environmental challenges.
Though Lopez credits Rosilier with providing invaluable support throughout her studies, the two have never met in person. Lopez earned most of her degree remotely due to COVID-19, which forced SAC classes to go virtual in March 2020.
Despite the shift to online instruction, SAC’s engineering program continued to keep students engaged. For example, Lopez led a team project building a Rube Goldberg machine with her classmates virtually, editing together video clips of each member’s part to show the entire machine working together seamlessly.
“You have to be very versatile. That’s what this year showed us,” Lopez said. “It’s amazing what we’re capable of.”