Scholar of the Week



Mirtha Echeverria      
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor




Mirtha Echeverria is a junior pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.  A recent transfer student from The Honors College at Miami Dade College, she is the recipient of a $1,000 personal Villarreal Family Scholarship donated by Raul Villarreal, an avid supporter of Great Minds in STEM.

Mirtha’s original dreams and aspirations to become an electrical engineer were derailed as a child.  Intrigued by the circuit boards in her first broken electric toy, she developed a curiosity and fascination for technology.  Her goal was to enroll in the Vocational Pre-University Institute of Exact Sciences, which is Cuba’s top high school program in exact sciences and humanities.  However, according to the Cuban political system because her grandparents had fled the country as political refugees 20 years earlier, she could not enroll. Consequently, she was faced with the tough decision to leave her family and friends and move to the United States to pursue her dreams of becoming an engineer.

After graduating high school, Mirtha was accepted into the Honors College at Miami Dade College, where she left a lasting legacy.  Her greatest impact was as President and Co-Founder of the Engineers for a Sustainable World Chapter, she developed a leadership project in which she designed and implemented a solar-powered charging station on campus. Her goal was to raise awareness of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources in an urban environment.  Along the way she raised $2,000 for this project.  This project was recognized nationally and featured in the Clinton Global Initiative Seminar.  For Mirtha, this achievement served as an inspiration to make the entire campus move towards sustainability.

In addition to her academics, Mirtha was a senator on the Student Government Association, a volunteer coordinator for TECHHO, and was the Team Lead for the Human Trafficking Plan in Action through the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She was also the President/Co-Founder of the TriBeta Biological National Honors Society.

Mirtha is a fascinating, creative, curious, enthusiastic, and humble leader that inspires a love of engineering among her peers.  Her love and passion for designing, manufacturing and solving engineering problems is contagious.  As a future engineer, Mirtha aspires to be part of a community of individuals who share a passion about creating awareness on global issues and enhancing the environment through sustainable technologies.  According to Mirtha, she is not only pursuing a major in engineering, she is pursuing the opportunity to change the world.



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