Changemaking Engineers

Changemaking Engineers - Dana Hernandez

We asked a handful of USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering students and alumni to tell us what inspires them and describe how they are “leading change.” Here are their answers.

“I am inspired by seeing my research have an impact in society. There is no greater gift than seeing engineering companies adopt my work in cost modeling to improve the realism of their proposals and track the progress of their projects. On the outreach front I am leading change by working to bring more young students into STEM fields through my Science of Sport program. This enables boys and girls to make connections to abstract topics by providing active learning opportunities.”

— Dr. Ricardo Valerdi ’00 (EE), associate professor, University of Arizona and founder of the Science of Sport

“I am inspired by the potential our world has for improvement, by seeing people at the local community level creating positive change, and by viewing, thinking about and discussing works of art. Art allows me to see the world in new ways and to think outside of the box, which helps me do my best each day to find areas of opportunity, fearlessly address those fears and inspire others to see the potential they have to do the same thing.”

— Dana Hernandez ’07 (ISyE), manager of Salt Lake City Corporation’s public art program

“I am inspired by people who demonstrate expert-level mastery of their craft, particularly by those who have spent years developing their talent within their respective field. I lead change by serving others through my musical abilities and by encouraging my colleagues to be genuine in their creative pursuits.”

— Matt Leigh ‘10 (ME), studio manager and head engineer, The Tracking Room

“The challenges that engineering presents in different scenarios drives my desire to pursue the degree. Engineering offers various intellectual challenges that require you to look at problems creatively to solve them. In addition, nothing beats the satisfaction of accomplishing an arduous task. I am leading change by being active on my campus by taking up a leadership role in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter. I am taking initiative by traveling to different countries to participate in humanitarian engineering opportunities. I am pursuing these challenges to keep myself engaged and motivated.”

— Devyn Bryant, current mechanical engineering student and cornerback for USD’s football team


Michelle Sztupkay

Connect with Us

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110