Scholar of the Week

Karla Leyva      
University of Texas at El Paso

Karla Leyva is entering her graduate year at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) majoring in electrical engineering as part of her undergraduate/graduate dual credit program. She is a recipient of a $2,125 HENAAC/Rockwell Collins Scholarship. In 2010 she received a HENAAC/NASA Johnson Space Center Scholarship and in 2011 she received a HENAAC/Rockwell Collins scholarship.

Starting from her high school years, Karla has shown persistence and dedication, a talent that allowed her to graduate in the top ten percentile of her class, as well as hold many different leadership positions for several school organizations. These achievements represented Karla’s hardworking skills and enthusiasm. Karla has continued this trend of academic excellence and leadership by earning a 3.6 grade point average, as well as having invitations to join the Student Leadership Institution, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, and the National Scholars Honor Society. Her excellent academic standing has not gone without notice as her high grade point average and school involvement has also allowed her to earn a spot on the College of Engineering’s Dean’s List.

She is currently a research assistant at the UTEP Keck Center Center for 3D Innovation. She assists post-doc students in research on advanced additive manufacturing electronics, and designing, printing, and building electronic parts needed for collaboration. Prior to this research experience, Karla completed two back-to-back internships with Texas Instruments and the CIA.

Karla has also continued to be a helpful member of the El Paso community, participating in community service events such as the UTEP Project Move, El Paso clean up and GEAR UP. For over three years, she has also been a constant volunteer at the Small World Daycare.

Karla has volunteered for the Young Achievers Forum for the past 2 years, where sixth grade students from all over the area are inspired and motivated through a series of workshops and tour of the university to learn about the opportunities that a college education can provide. Karla has also worked with incoming freshmen in the engineering degree as a Peer Leader in the required UNIV 1301 course where they are introduced to the basics of engineering, surviving college and setting students up for success in their chosen technical fields.

Karla believes that by demonstrating, rather than telling, can change a person’s life and inspire them to pursue a career in STEM despite their circumstance or background. Therefore she plans to lead as a national leader by paving the way into new discoveries and technology that will promote STEM through her recognition of achievements.

She is passionate about the area she is studying in and understands what it means to love what you do and never work a day in your life, which are words of wisdom from her mother.

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