Student Highlights

Learn more about MEP students' experiences.

Savannah Pagan
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Class of 2024

New this year both to the university and to MEP, Savannah has quickly worked to ensure she is utilizing every opportunity available to her at UIUC to the fullest of her extent. Savannah shares her ideas and unique perspective with everyone she meets and when passionate about her cause, she perseveres and ensures that her goal is accomplished.  In her free time, Savannah enjoys running, reading, 3D printing, painting, and when she's home, taking care of her flock of 16 chickens. She also writes a newsletter publication called Out of My Mind and runs her own personal website.

Currently Savannah is a part of SHPE's New Member Roundtable, and has helped plan events such as the recent 24-hour RT Telethon. As a member of the MEP Welcome Committee as well, she has played an essential role in reaching out to new students and welcoming them both to Grainger and to Illinois. Her other involvements include working as a Grainger senator in the Illinois Student Government (ISG) and within the Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL) as a researcher on patient hospital fall dynamics. She plans to spend her summer as a Grainger First-Year Experience (GFX) researcher in Juana Matos, Puerto Rico, aiding in global disaster sustainability through work on multiple projects.

Her favorite MEP events (so far) have been the various retreats and EMBARK, where she has met and connected with so many people. Savannah is excited to see where her next three years here at Illinois will take her.

Ashley Mitchell
BIOE, Class of 2021

Ashley is a Junior in BioE. She is extremely active on campus through various RSO's such as SHPE, Engineering Ambassadors, and the Mixed Student Union. Within these RSO's Ashley strengthens her leadership skills by taking on executive board roles. Ashley also enjoys inspiring youth to pursue an education in the STEM field through outreach organizations both on and off campus. She has participated in the MEP SOS Retreat for the past two years which has helped her network with students/alumni of color, while also motivating her to continue to work towards her academic and personal goals. Ashley is also currently working on a project, for Engineering Open House, which uses transdermal optical imaging technology in order to pick up hidden emotions through an individual's hemoglobin levels. Keep up the hard work Ashley!

Loluwo Osilaja
AE, Class of 2021

Loluwa Osilaja is a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering. He enjoys maintaining an active role on campus. Within NSBE he is chair for Academic Excellence and he is also an Illinois Engineering Ambassador. Lo enjoys being able to collaborate with other students to solve engineering problems. MEP has been able to help him connect with other students with a similar mindset and find a family away from home that continuously pushes him to succeed. Lo is looking forward to the spring semester where he will be starting his first Co-Op with Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the future Lo looks forward to leading mankind into the next stage of space exploration.

Eliza Danielle Wright
NPRE, Class of 2020

Meet Eliza: a sophomore in NPRE. She is very involved on campus in various RSO's and groups. Her roles include serving as the Programs Chair for NSBE, co-founder of Women in Nuclear, advisor of the Diversity Inclusion Initiative of the Dean's Student Advisory Committee, and consultant for Illinois Business Consultants. Since she is so involved on campus, she has a goal for this year to make a significant impact in all the RSOs that she is involved in this year. Not to mention that she is currently doing research on plasma and material interactions. When discussing MEP, she went on to say that MEP has provided many opportunities to her and connected her with many people, including upperclassmen and alumni. From these interactions, she learned that she can be a consultant for Accenture in the future. If you see her around, feel free to say hello, especially if you want to talk about her favorite movie: The Emperor's New Groove.

Janae Moore 
ABE, Class of 2019

Throughout her time here at UIUC Janae has shown to be a team leader and a role model. Janae is NSBE's Programs Co-Chair and plans social events which promote and help build a sense of community. During E-Week, she led her team to victory through encouraging them perform competitively and to rely on one another. Janae is also a part of Illini 4000, in which is she is conditioning herself to bike 4,748 miles, from New York to San Francisco, and working towards raising $4,000 for cancer research and patient support services. Janae is a huge fan of the performing arts so it's not a big surprise that her favorite place on campus is the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. Her favorite MEP event has been the fall SOS retreats because it has given her the opportunity to network with alumni, which had lead to job interviews and scholarship opportunities.

Eric Sandoval
IE, Class of 2019

Eric is a Senior in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Economics and Finance. He enjoys rigorous reasoning and is interested in learning how several systems work in conjunction in order to maximize their efficiency and capability. This past summer Eric interned at Prince Castle where he was able to implement the knowledge he has gained over his years at UIUC. From his job experience, he was able to further develop his data analysis skills and his process optimization skills. Eric has also been very involved on campus in various RSO's including SHPE's Robotics team and Formula SAE's engine team. Eric's goal is to finish his senior year off with a strong GPA but you can still find him during his free time at the ARC playing basketball.

Alessandra Garcia
BIOE, Class of 2019

Alessandra Garcia is a senior studying Bioengineering. This summer she is conducting research on Ewing Sarcoma, a type of cancer that affects young adults and kids, at the University of Michigan under Dr. Beth Lawlor. Her research is investigating how a certain gene contributes to activating cell pathways that make the cancer cells more aggressive. She was inspired to learn that even PhD students stumble occasionally from the "Wall of Shame", where everyone puts their results from when they made a "silly" mistake.

Miguel Angel Fernandez
SE, Class of 2019

Miguel is a senior is Systems Engineering with a concentration in Renewable Energy. Miguel has recently won SHPE member of the year two years in a row due to his passion for the organization. He has been a big help on SHPE's External Committee over the years and has shown support for his peers. This summer, Miguel is interning at Sunstar America in their IT department. In his spare time, you can catch Miguel writing short stories or in the NSBE/SHPE office studying. Before becoming a Systems Engineer at Illinois Miguel wanted to be a train conductor, then switched interests to astronomy, architecture, and later Civil Engineering before landing in his current major.

Caleb McEwen
EE, Class of 2019

Caleb is a junior studying Electrical Engineering. He is heavily involved on campus this year, as he serves as NSBE's Senator, NOBCCHE's External Secretary, and as a member of MEP's Recruitment Committee. Caleb has gone beyond his call of duty, as he has taken time out of his day to help members understand topics in introductory engineering courses, such as CS101. Some of his long term goals include: earning a graduate degree and becoming a technical leader in a company's research and development department or a researcher at a university. Outside of academics and his campus involvement, Caleb loves watching movies and listening to music. He enjoyed watching Black Panther opening weekend and suggests that everyone should see the film.

Kyra White
Env. Geo, Class of 2018

Kyra White is a senior in Environmental Geology. She is currently interning at the Department of Energy: Energy Information Administration in Washington, D.C. analyzing oil, gas, and coal supply data and supporting the development of nationally-distributed surveys. Kyra likes that the agency treats her like a full-time employee and gives her work that will have a significant impact. She will determine if this is a possible career for her.

Karla Rivero Valles
MechSE, Class of 2018

Karla is a junior in Mechanical Engineering pursuing a Hoeft Technology and Management minor. She is very active on campus and has been a part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in the High School Outreach and Corporate Relations committees and was in charge of SHPE's Regional Conference in April. This year, she serves as chapter president of SHPE and was an ENG 100 Engineering Learning Assistant. Karla plans on becoming more involved with the Society of Women Engineers and Women in MechSE this year.

Ramon Zarate 
EE, Class of 2018

Ramon is a junior in Electrical Engineering, a James Scholar, and the first in his family to attend college. He is interestedin a career within the integrated circuit or semiconductor field. As an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), he has participated in and led the High School Outreach Committee since his freshman year and currently serves as the chapter's treasurer. Ramon works for MEP as a Teaching Assistant for the Mentoring Class with Dean Favila and is also a National Action Council for Minority Engineers (NACME) Scholar Ambassador for MEP.

Kyra Grant
IE, Class of 2016

While acquiring her degree in Industrial Engineering, Kyra was able to provide unique and distinguishable marketing materials for MEP.

Denzel McCauley
CE, Class of 2018