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COE Welcomes Freshmen on STEM Signing Day

Published August 18, 2020

Forty-four high school graduates aiming to study engineering at CSULB were honored Tuesday during the third annual STEM Signing Day sponsored by Boeing and the career-development platform Tallo.

The event, livestreamed across the country, was attended by Boeing executives, California elected officials, CSULB officials, and the honorees, who are graduates of Cabrillo, Jordan, Lakewood, McBride, Millikan, Polytechnic, and Wilson high schools and the California and SATO academies of math & science.

The incoming freshmen received a $100 gift card from Boeing to help with school expenses in addition to the offer of a one-year-long mentorship with a Boeing engineer.

"I want to take a moment to congratulate you and let you know you have a community behind you ready to support you," said Philip June, director of engineering at Boeing's Southern California Design Center in Long Beach. "We recognize the difference support can make."

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley thanked Boeing for its support. "Over the years, Boeing and its employees have played a vital role in the advancement of Cal State Long Beach," she said. "We're looking forward to the mentoring program."

Students also received congratulations from Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Jill Baker. Three Boeing engineers also fielded students' questions.

Melissa Amaya, a structures design engineer at Boeing, earned her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from CSULB in 2015. Although Boeing was her target employer even before she graduated, she worked at two other companies before being hired by the aerospace giant.

"Everything about airplanes fascinated me. I was the person who asked for the window seat so I could watch all the airplanes flying by," said Amaya.

Brian Madrid, a product manager for underwater drones, advanced technology Programs, and network and space systems, said the most important undergraduate class he took was CAD. "The fundamentals in understanding that program really helped me do what I do today," he said.

Madrid earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from University of California Los Angeles, and later completed a master's degree in engineering management from University of Southern California.

Boeing Technical Fellow Nia Jetter shared how her interests morphed from biochemical engineering to math and computer science when she attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "I wanted to be a doctor but I didn't like the sight of blood so I decided I was going to clone organs," said Jetter, who focuses on artificial intelligence,  autonomy, and controls. "The skill that has helped me the most has been math," she said.  

Amaya recommended that students attend career fairs and conferences and join student organizations. "Advisors will be there to guide you on the way. If you have a goal just focus on it and try and find the right resources," she advised.

CSULB Interim Dean Tracy Maples applauded students for deciding to study engineering. "You've selected a profession that changes the world, but it's a career that's tough," she said. "But please remember the College of Engineering is here to support you."

A video from the event can be viewed on YouTube.

The students honored include:

  • Mauricio Aguilar
  • Robert Bagalawis       
  • Stefan Barua  
  • Ahiezer Benitez          
  • Phuong Bui     
  • Khirby  Calma 
  • Mia Castillo    
  • Jacob Cook     
  • Gabriel            Cortes 
  • George            Deloviar         
  • Alaina  English
  • Christian Fernandez   
  • Jenni Heng     
  • Chris Hong     
  • Gech Huy        
  • Mazin Imam   
  • Danielle Jackson        
  • Kevin Kubota  
  • Nathan Lam   
  • Erick Maldonado        
  • Koby Melvin   
  • Ayan Mesihovich
  • Moises Miranda         
  • Alex Morelos  
  • Josh Munoz    
  • Damian Osorio           
  • Sheina Peralta
  • Rosa Perez     
  • Philippe Quezon         
  • Ashton Ramos
  • Oscar Rivera  
  • Eric Rodriguez
  • Fernando Rodriguez-Toscano
  • Alfonso Salas
  • Peter Som      
  • Rex Tabora     
  • Jaime Teran   
  • Tony To          
  • Nimsi Torres  
  • Cory Turton    
  • Daniel Venegas          
  • Samantha Villa Floran           
  • Shailin Yin      
  • Miguelangel Zuniga