Christina Josefina Rivas
Credentials: Mechanical Engineering
Position title: 2020 Denice Denton Scholarship Recipient
Christina is a first-generation student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is in her 4th year studying Mechanical Engineering with an interest in Design Engineering. She is passionate about giving back to the community, collaborating with others, and diversifying the STEM fields. Christina believes she is achieving these goals through her extracurricular involvement and internship experiences.
She has been an active member of the Women in Mechanical Engineering group on campus since her freshman year. She was fortunate enough to meet many inspiring women across campus to help navigate the challenges of being a woman pursuing a career in engineering. Christina mentored a first-year student and enjoyed helping her out with anything she needed such as picking classes, completing assignments, or providing personal advice. This relationship was very rewarding for Christina as she believes that every incoming student should have a mentor because it makes the college transition that much easier.
Christina has also been involved with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) since her freshman year. She started off volunteering for various outreach events and proceeded to host SHPE’s weekly study tables as the Academic Chair. Then, she served as the Vice President of Internal Affairs where she arranged logistics for company hosted workshops and social events. Currently, she is the president and is working to establish unity within SHPE and between similar identity-based organizations (NSBE, SWE, and QTE) via social justice workshops and casual discussions. Overall she wants to educate members on topics that cover equitableness and foster collaboration within the SHPE familia.
During the academic year, Christina helps coordinate the summer program ProCSI (Promoting the Computational Science Initiative). The program’s purpose is to get even more traditionally underrepresented high school students involved in the Computer Science and Engineering fields, as well as STEM fields in general. She manages all of the logistics, recruits students from the Midwest, and reviews the applications. Each year of her involvement, she has increased the number of applicants and participants. During the last program edition, she was one of two summer counselors. Christina supervised the cohort, encouraged student participation in all of the activities, and mentored students. This experience was her favorite because she served as a role model for prospective students.
Through all of her experiences, Christina has been able to help many and give back to communities like her own. She has developed the professional skills necessary to manage a summer program and expressed the importance and value of mentorship and inclusion through her involvement in campus organizations. Christina is excited to continue her educational journey as she remains committed to upholding Denice Denton’s values of diversity, inclusion, mentorship, and leadership.