Scholar of the Week

Victor Mendez      
University of Texas San Antonio

Victor Mendez is a recent graduate from Winston Churchill High School, attending the University of Texas San Antonio where he is pursuing his engineering degree. Victor is one of 12 HENAAC Scholars to receive a $10,000 U.S. Navy STEM Scholarship.

An incoming freshman, Victor finds civil and mechanical engineering very interesting, but ultimately his goal is to study and become an aerospace engineer. His interest in space exploration began at an early age while reading science fiction novels that depicted what engineering technology of the future would be like and the extra terrestrial environments that have yet to be explored.

In pursuing aerospace engineering, Victor strives to advance aerospace science aiding in, “the privatization of affordable space travel… and the extraction of useful resources from outer space.” He explains, “I plan to study aerospace engineering because the science fascinates me and I want the knowledge that I acquire to not just benefit me but humanity as a whole.”

Engineering runs in his family; both of his maternal and paternal grandfathers were engineers as well as his parents. Victor’s maternal grandfather, Victor Lewis Nixon, was his role model and mentor having worked as Gillespie County Surveyor surveying Central Texas ranches and boundaries for Enchanted Rock State Park and later helped develop resort areas around Inks Lake, Canyon Lake, and Buchannan Lake.

Victor’s AP Calculus teacher described Victor as a real pleasure to teach and a positive influence in the classroom always scoring in the top quarter of the top class on test and quizzes. Victor exhibits creative thinking and problem solving skills, characteristics a great engineer requires. He can easily adapt to difficult situations and thrives in many academic subjects including AP physics and history courses. On the non-academic side, Victor is also known for his quirky sense of humor and for his powerful and elegant singing voice.

Victor’s long-term goal with earning his engineering degree is to share his knowledge, possibly through teaching, research and writing ultimately inspiring future generations to pursue aerospace engineering and continue making advancements in space technology.

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