Scholar of the Week

Victor Mendez      
University of Texas San Antonio

Victor Mendez is attending the University of Texas San Antonio where he is pursuing his mechanical engineering degree. Victor is one of a select cohort of HENAAC Scholars to receive a $10,000 U.S. Navy STEM Scholarship. This is the second year Victor is receiving this scholarship. In the summer of 2014, Victor was accepted into the NAVSEA Student Employment Program, and interned at their facility in Southern California.

A sophomore, Victor finds mechanical and civil engineering very interesting, but ultimately his goal is to study and work in the aerospace industry. 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.

Engineering runs in Victor’s 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 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. On the non-academic side, Victor is also known for his quirky sense of humor and for his powerful and elegant singing voice. In fact, all through high school, Victor received several accolades for his bass vocals, including the Choir Best in Class Award and the Choir UIL Solo, 1st division. To date, he is a member of the St. John’s Lutheran Church Parish Choir in San Antonio, Texas, where he sings for all worship services, participates in special Christmas concerts, serves as a cantor, and plays special music on his cello. Since 2010, he has served as a summer camp counselor, at Hermann Sons Youth Camp, for boys ages 9 through 13.

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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