Scholar of the Week

Pearl Ortega      
Texas A&M University

Pearl Ortega, a 2013 HENAAC Scholar, graduated from St. Mary’s University, with a bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering. Pearl was among the first cohort of scholarship recipients to receive a $1,000 memorial scholarship from the Davila and Trevino families. In fall 2014, Pearl will be entering the industrial engineering doctoral program at Texas A&M University.

Pearl has participated in several university programs and organizations including, Continuing the Heritage, Habitat for Humanity, Institute for Industrial Engineers, Upward Bound Tutor, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was a math tutor since September 2010, for the community college district in San Antonio, a McNair Scholar, and inducted into the Sigma Alpha Pi National Honors Society.

It is through the McNair Program that Pearl has acquired an intense affinity for engineering research. Pearl has conducted rigorous research on a logistics problem, namely, the Uncapacitated Facility Location Problem. In this project, Pearl developed a mixed integer linear programming formulation for the underlying network design problem. She also implemented the mixed integer linear programming formulation in C++ programming language and solved problem instances using the state-of-the-art optimization software called ILOG CPLEX for solving the large-scale problem instances. Her faculty acclaims that Pearl demonstrates a scholastic ability to apply theoretical fundamentals to practical problem settings and deliver a lucid, concise and well- thought presentation.

In the next 25 years, Pearl envisions herself as a professor, heading a prestigious industrial engineering department, and eventually having her own consulting firm. Pearl aspires to complete a doctorate in industrial engineering, teach and conduct research. Her desire is to become an expert in the field and work with others who have the same passion as she does. To date, Pearl continues to demonstrate that she is well on her way to achieving her dreams.

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