Scholar of the Week



Maria Medina – Alva      
Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona




Maria Medina-Alva is a junior industrial engineering student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. With a cumulative GPA of 3.37, Maria was the recipient of a 2014-15 HENAAC Scholarship sponsored by The Chrysler Foundation in the amount of $4,250.00.

Growing up as a young Hispanic female there were no STEM, specifically engineering, leaders in her community. However, as the first person in her family to attend college, Maria was determined to become an engineer and make a difference in her community by taking it upon herself to become a STEM leader and influence others.

On campus she has served as an Academic Workshop Facilitator where she managed a structured-group of 16 college students in calculus. She continues to serve as a one-on-one tutor for the Educational Opportunity Program, where she assists students in math, science, and engineering courses.

She has interned for two summers at the United Parcel Services. Her work included conducting time studies and work measurements on various employees and administered daily audits for package care and package service to improve damaged package center operations processes.

Away from her academics and work, Maria has given back to her community through several campus organizations. She has served as president of the Alpha Pi Mu Honors Society; external vice-president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE); and Treasurer for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Through her continued involvement with SWE and SHPE, since her freshman year, Maria has maintained her commitment to being a leader to young girls and Hispanics. SWE and SHPE have provided Maria the opportunities to gain the soft skills and experience to become a STEM leader in her community and impact others.

For her servant leadership, she has been recognized as Freshman of the Year for SWE, Rookie of the Year for SHPE, Frank C. Carr Award from INROADS, and a Young Leader in Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.

Maria’s career aspiration is to become the Chief Executive Officer for a worldwide corporation such as Disney, and prove that young Latinas can be successful leaders not just in corporate America but worldwide.



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