Fall 2021 Scholarship Recipients
"Hi, my name is Brandon Lim, and I am a fourth-year Civil Engineering major. On campus, I am a member of the Chi Epsilon Honor Society, and I am also a part of the Granite Heavy Civil minor. This past summer I had an internship with Bay Cities Paving and Grading where I assisted on the reconstruction of the highway 99 project that stretches from Merced to Atwater in California. As a transfer student, I was also previously a member of the vex robotics team where I assisted in the design and build of robots used for competition.
After graduation, I plan to pursue my Professional Engineering licensure, work in the field of heavy civil construction as a field engineer and eventually work my way up the construction management career ladder."
"I am a member of the ASCE here on campus. However, I have focused much more of my time towards my internship with the US Department of Agriculture. Specifically, I intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Services. I’ve interned with them for the past 3 summers with one of those summers being in North Carolina. I am also a member of a few social clubs on campus. These have become ways for me to relax and destress which has been amazing.
My plans after graduation are leaning towards finding a job more related to structural engineering. My last 3 summers of interning have been heavily agricultural and water based, but I am much more passionate about structural. I do plan to return for my Masters, but I’ve decided to think about it at a later time in my life. My main goals are graduating and experiencing things I never really had an opportunity to."
"Currently, I am involved with SCE as the Webmaster and have been on the Mentorship Committee since last year. I am also the Secretary of the EWB Local Team, where we are working on a project in the Salton Sea area of California. In past years, I participated in algae research with WESTT and was a member of the PSWC Sustainability Team, which I will be returning to and competing in this upcoming quarter, along with being a new Study Session Leader. These past few months, I have been interning at Mead & Hunt helping research Foresight, Innovation, Technology (FIT) topics and advancements in the AEC industry. In the past, I have also helped at the Department of Water Resources. After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career in the water resources industry and exploring abroad, as I would have liked to study abroad prior to pandemic uncertainties."
"I currently serve as the Chief of Staff for Cal Poly’s Interfraternity Council (IFC), overseeing and aiding the IFC Executive Staff. I just finished serving as the President of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). I have worked closely with student leaders, and the broader Jewish community of San Luis Obispo. I am currently on a panel with members of San Luis Obispo’s Jewish Community Center Board (JCC) to plan a city-wide Jewish Learning Festival! It will be hosted on Cal Poly’s campus from February 24th-26th, 2022.
This past Summer I was a civil engineering intern for Wilson Mikami Corporation, a civil engineering consulting firm based out of Irvine, California. I drafted grading concepts, takeoff exhibits, plot plans, street improvements and a drainage system for residential retaining walls.
I am immensely interested in Transportation Engineering, Water Resources Engineering and Construction Engineering and I intend on pursuing a Master’s Degree in one of these facets. If the opportunity allows itself, I will pursue a dual masters degree - studying for a Masters in Business Administration as well."
"Cal Poly provides many opportunities for me to thrive both in academics and extracurriculars. This year I am the captain of the men's rugby team as well as a Facility Supervisor at the Cal Poly Rec Center. I absolutely love my teammates and coworkers and appreciate the opportunities to learn about leadership and cooperation. Along with sports and work, I am a member of the Civil Engineering fraternity Chi Epsilon, where I hope to grow in involvement in the quarters to come. This past summer I was an intern for the Land Development Department at Kimley Horn's Sacramento office. I enjoyed myself there so much that I have decided to return next summer, and can't wait to take those further steps towards becoming an engineer. After graduation, the current expectation is to work full time, most likely somewhere in California. However, I am open to going anywhere. I am excited for the experiences no matter where I end up."
"I’m a first-generation transfer student from Oxnard College attending my senior year at Cal Poly as an Environmental Engineering Major. I was born in Orange County, California, but was raised in Jalisco, Mexico. I’m the youngest of 4 and the last to go to college. My sister is a teacher, my brothers, an agro-industrial engineer, and a farmer. My parents did not finish school, but they are the hardest working, kindest, and smartest people I know.
I’m in Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, I’m a UCSB-Smithsonian Scholar and ESTEEM Scholar. Over the last 6 years, I’ve been involved in various research projects, have presented at the National Diversity in STEM Conference (SACNAS 2019), and have led a number of workshops in non-invasive monitoring techniques both at Santa Cruz Island, California, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute STRI, Panama. Currently, I serve as a field technician, student lead, and peer mentor for the USCSB-Smithsonian Scholars Program.
This is my second year attending Cal Poly, first in Person, and probably last. It took me 5 years of community college, but I'm finally here. At Cal Poly I've managed to remain engaged by taking on work, competitions, and clubs. in spring 2020 I took part in the Environmental Challenge International (ECi) Competition, for which our Cal Poly team earned 2nd place, and this year I serve as project lead for the UCSB-SI Scholars Conservation Tech Challenge, which seeks to produce remote sensing equipment to measure fog drip off Santa Cruz island, Ca. Regarding work, I currently assist Dr.Talke on an archival data recovery project which seeks to assess sea-level rise and flooding changes in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. As to my engagement with clubs, I also serve as President for CP RainWorks, a small and developing water resources club that seeks to diversify knowledge on sustainable water management practices by providing experiential-based learning experiences.
As to my plans, they are not concrete, but I sure know I’d like to work with issues relating to water and take part in programs that serve low-income underrepresented students seeking a pathway to professional competency in the fields of conservation ecology."
"I am an active member of both RainWorks and the Cal Poly Archery Club. RainWorks is a water science-focused club that participates in challenges and project throughout the year. Last quarter we participated in the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities. This quarter (and next) we will be working with UCSB and a research team on Santa Cruz Island to design and build an improved fog harp. The Cal Poly Archery Club meets every weekend to go shooting at a local range. This quarter, I was also able to participate in WESTT (Water and Energy Sustainability Training Team), a research-focused technical elective concerning algae growth. Currently, I don't have any plans after graduation. I am interested in possibly pursuing Cal Poly's blended 4+1 Civil and Environmental Program, but I would also enjoy joining the workforce directly after my undergraduate degree."
Ella Marie Arconado Quebral
"I haven't had any internships yet, but I'm hoping to have one this summer.
I'd like to enter into graduate school for either structural engineering or water resource engineering after graduation! I also hope to go back to school in the future to attain a degree in music, particularly jazz performance, composition, or production."
Christopher was an SCE member for all four years, on the PSWC planning committee 2019-2019, was the social director 2019-2020, and the PWSC co-coordinator 2020-2021. His summer internships included being a construction management intern in 2019 and a project engineering intern 2020 and 2021.
"On campus, I have been a member of the Society of Environmental Engineers (SENVE) for two years. I have also been conducting Carbon Capture Nanotechnology research with Professor Amro El Badawy since September of 2020. In this research, we are exploring possible post-combustion carbon capture methods using nanotechnology. I am very fortunate to be a part of this research, and I was able to present at the Air and Waste Association's Push to Carbon Neutrality, Adaptation, and Resiliency Conference. I will be continuing this research with Professor El Badawy in the future. As for my future after graduation, I plan to pursue my masters degree in environmental engineering. I would like to continue to work in environmental nanotechnology, but I am also exploring water quality management and fire management as possible career paths."
"I have no serious involvement in any campus activities this year, though I have paid my dues to ASCE and ITE, and I signed up to be a CE mentor. My first and second years at Cal Poly, I was heavily involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, where I lead a weekly small group Bible study my second year. I currently work as an engineering technician for MNS Engineers in the transportation design team. I work full time over breaks and part time during the school year. This summer, I took a break from transportation design to work for MNS as a construction inspector on-site in Santa Maria at the LCSD wastewater reclamation plant for their Phase I upgrade project. I learned a lot from the experience and really enjoyed being out in the field every day!
After graduation, I will be getting married to my fiancée (who is a Cal Poly BMED), moving to Ventura County, and starting full-time with MNS Engineers as an Assistant Engineer for their transportation team (I just accepted my offer yesterday!)."
"I am a current CE/ENVE graduate student concentrating in Structural Engineering. Throughout my four years of undergrad, I have been and am still involved in the Society of Civil Engineers (SCE) and Chi Epsilon at Cal Poly. During my fourth year, I served as the Membership Director on the officer board of SCE. I am also currently a Mechanics of Materials Teaching Associate and department grader. I have had interned at CR Associates, RailPros, and Burns & McDonnell. I held a part-time Structural Engineering Assistant position at Cannon during my last two years of undergrad. Outside of engineering, I am on the Cal Poly Dance Team.
After graduating with my M.S. in June, I will be working at Burns & McDonnell in Brea, CA. I will be an Assistant Civil Engineer working with the Structural team in the Aviation & Federal department. I have also passed the 8-hr PE Exam and will be able to apply for my license one year after I graduate."
"Throughout my four years on campus, I have been involved with the Cal Poly Triathlon Team. I have served as the Head Swim Coach, the Student Head Coach, and am currently serving as the club Vice President. I represented Cal Poly at Collegiate Triathlon Nationals this last September, and am hopeful and excited for a race season this spring. In addition to Triathlon, I became involved with Dr. Yarrow Nelson's biodegradation research in Spring 2021 and wrote a Standard Operating Procedure for use with the CO2 Respirometer. Currently, under advisory of Dr. Oulton, I am working with graduate student Michael Moore to assess the sorption and transport of common pharmaceuticals (at this point we have done bench-scale tests on dichlofenac) through a sand media column using the HPLC machine. I have yet to find an internship that suites my skills and interests, but am excited to be gaining advanced knowledge of Environmental Engineering through Senior Design and my coursework.
After graduation, I will be attending grad school at one of the institutions I have just finished applying for. I am hopeful to attend University of Washington as a Hydrology and Hydrodynamics master's student, and want to pursue an eventual career in pollutant fate-and-transport modeling within freshwater ecosystems. Along the way, I will gain more experience and education to enable me to sit for the PE exam and hopefully gain my license soon after finishing my master's degree, as I already have my EIT as of last summer. "
“Transferring from community college to a university with as many opportunities as Cal Poly does, I was excited to get involved as quickly as possible in my first quarter. I spent as much time as I could with my other transfers and the Society of Environmental Engineers, where I was introduced to Rainworks. As a project manager of the Rainworks design competition team, we studied and designed green stormwater infrastructure for the engineering complex on campus, and I recently took on the position of treasurer for the Rainworks club.
I am passionate about the Land Back movement and regenerative land uses more generally because I think these are the best avenues to heal our way out of the climate and biodiversity crises. I am looking for a career with Land Trusts, ecosystem management, conservation, or environmental design, and I want to specialize further in this direction through graduate school. Ultimately, I think my life's purpose is to protect the Redwood forests where I grew up and trees all along the west coast."
"I was involved in the 2021 ASC Region 6 Design Build Competition, first as just a shadow because I wanted to learn more about the design and construction processes. However, a team member wasn't able to make the competition and I had the opportunity to help fill their position as the project estimator. It was the first time the Civil Engineering department at Cal Poly competed in ASC and it was a challenging but valuable experience for which I'm extremely grateful for! I also worked at Gilbane Building Company as an intern, gaining experiences in close out packages and seeing the beginning stages of a new project in a time where construction materials are so scarce.
After graduation, I will be going back to Gilbane Building Company as a Project Engineer. I am interested in learning more about the construction building process and creating solutions to make construction more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Even though that is one of my goals, I am also open to returning to grad school or working with underprivileged communities locally or in third world countries to provide engineering solutions that they want and that would benefit them. I have so many dreams and opportunities as a soon-to-be freshly graduated civil engineer, and wherever my path takes me, I'm excited for the ways that I can contribute!"
Alexandra Lee Garder
"I am part of ITE here on campus, and am currently aiding Dr. Tanvir in travel behavior research on campus. Outside of Cal Poly, I work with two small firms in the area developing active transportation plans and emergency evacuation analysis. After graduation, I have plans to move back to the Bay Area where I will be working as a transportation engineer/planner for a local firm."