When Tiara Chapel was in Mississippi and making her decision about going to college a few years ago, she had two important criteria: to attend a college that emphasized a small campus environment and to study engineering.
She found both at the University of San Diego. There is an emphasis on small class size, faculty who knows your name and has flexible office hours, and overall support. The Industrial and Systems Engineering major, which interested Chapel most, is one of the three engineering disciplines that offers a dual BS/BA degree, combining the technical side and a liberal arts education. It’s what USD Engineering Programs Director and Electrical Engineering Professor Kathleen Kramer, PhD, said “develops the complete engineer.”
Chapel ’11 has certainly achieved that title. Her experiences include active participation in student engineering organizations, involvement in Greek Life, community service by working with middle school students and doing a study abroad trip to Duncans, Jamaica where she and other USD students worked closely with community members on improvement projects.
“My experience here has been very memorable,” Chapel said. “It’s given me the opportunity to grow in three ways: leadership, scholarship and service.”
Chapel has accomplished a lot, a combination of her hard work, closely working with engineering faculty in an undergraduate program ranked 21st in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and with motivation instilled by her mother that she could achieve anything she set her mind to do.
Advice and hard work are great, but they’re not the only things college students need to succeed. It takes people and organizations both in and outside USD to provide scholarship support. Chapel, a McNair Scholar, received a National Science Foundation Engineering Scholarship and a USD Trustee Scholarship.
The support Chapel has received has been reciprocated through her ability in the classroom and beyond, but there’s an understanding that goes beyond simply being thankful. Chapel said she wants to provide the same opportunity for another potential student.
“Something I can’t wait to do is to give back to USD for all that it has given me,” Chapel said.
— Ryan T. Blystone
Learn more about USD’s Engineering Programs.