Scholar of the Week

Erick Salazar      
University of Texas at El Paso

Erick Salazar, recipient of a 2016 HENAAC Scholarship sponsored by Cummins Inc., in the amount of $5,000, is currently a senior pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). A driven and motivated student, Erick has distinguished himself in his leadership commitment to organizations whose goals align with his in developing STEM talent within the Hispanic community.

A native of Mexico, Erick lived in the border town of Juarez where he graduated from high school during one of the most turbulent times in the city’s history. The increased rate of crime was having a direct impact on his family, so he decided to move to the U.S. and attend an American university. It was a paramount decision at that point in his life because as a native Spanish speaker and first generation college student, Erick knew he was about to face the challenge of trying to adapt and succeed in a completely new environment. Fortunately, Erick found the support to assimilate from a diverse and successful community present at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Throughout his time at the University of Texas at El Paso, Erick has taken courses that have challenged him to be an innovative thinker. From May – August 2014, Erick was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Extremes Research Group which helped him develop new skills and apply his engineering knowledge in design and material behavior to contribute to cutting-edge research in alloys and cryogenics. Since then he has remained a major contributor to the UTEP materials at Extremes Research Group where he continues to develop skills that will enable him to work in innovative environments to accomplish the objectives needed to successfully reach his academic goals. His dedication and superior performance has resulted in his ability to maintain an above average GPA for which he is recognized on the Dean’s List of the department of mechanical engineering.

Outside the classroom, Erick is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES). He served as the Vice-President of ASME from August 2015 – May 2016 where he provided strategic direction in creating programs and services aimed at supporting the mechanical engineering students learning, success and satisfaction. In the summer of 2015, Erick was selected for a Boeing internship where he was assigned to lab test safety engineering division at the Huntsville, AL. There Erick learned firsthand what it was like to be part of a team of innovative thinkers.

Erick possess the mindset of an outstanding engineering student. His focus on academic accomplishments, pre-professional development and service to the community is well-respected. He is a model of perseverance, a leader and a passionate individual who will no doubt attain every goal he sets for himself and empower those around him to do the same.

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