Scholar of the Week

Sarah Gonzalez
University of New Mexico

Sarah is a 2012 HENAAC-Lockheed Martin Corporation scholarship recipient.

Sarah Gonzalez is in her senior year at the University of New Mexico (UNM). She graduated from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico as class valedictorian.

Sarah’s major is one of the three most difficult majors at UNM – computer engineering with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media (IFDM), a highly selective program. As a high school senior, Sarah was one of fifty students selected from nearly three hundred applicants based on her high level of both technical and artistic abilities. She is the only Hispanic engineering student in the entire program of two hundred students, and in her specific cohort, she is the top student. Despite being in computer engineering and having to constantly perform complex technical and artistic projects in IFDM, she maintains a 3.87 grade point average and is in the University Honors Program. Sarah is described by a former director of the IFDM program as “the best undergraduate student I have ever met in my eighteen years as a faculty member – which includes eight years at Carnegie Mellon University where I had the opportunity to teach and mentor some of the brightest undergraduate students in the world.”

Not only is Sarah able to handle extreme course loads but she manages to stay involved in the community and extra-curricular activities. Sarah is the Corporate Contact for the Hispanic Engineering & Science Organization (HESO) where she has helped coordinate career fairs and events planned to generate young students’ excitement in science and engineering. One such program is “Hermanitos” where HESO members visit local high schools and involve students with hands-on STEM projects.

Sarah is also a member of the young women’s acapella choir On Q which sings at local nursing homes and supports organizations committed to ending homelessness like Cuidando Los Ninos. A music minor, Sarah is also co-leader of a volunteer led theory group whose mission is to educate community members and other choirs about music theory.

A computer program and engineer, a 3-D artist, a classically trained musician and composer, a Latin American style dancer and an acapella choir singer are all words used to describe Sarah. Upon receiving her undergraduate degree, Sarah plans on attending graduate school.

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