emma-lopezRecent graduate’s accomplishments featured in LatinaStyle magazine

Emma Violeta Lopez, a Miami native and FIU Civil and Environmental Engineering Department alumna, is currently serving in Washington, D.C. as a 2012-2013 Graduate STEM Fellow of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). Emma earned her fellowship after an impressive undergraduate and graduate career at FIU.

Emma’s accomplishments are earning her plenty of attention, and not just on Capitol Hill: She was recently featured in the February 2013 issue of LATINA Style Magazine, a nationally circulated publication that showcases Latina achievements in business, science, civic affairs, education, entertainment, sports, and the arts. An article Emma wrote about the experiences that led to her selection by CHCI was published in the magazine’s ‘College Beat’ section. (Click here and go to page 44 to read the story.)

In her piece, Emma describes how her upbringing influenced the importance of education in her life and details how she earned a scholarship to FIU through her participation in the Partnership in Academic Communities (PAC) program, a unique collaborative partnership between FIU and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Emma also explains how she discovered her passion for environmentalism and pursued it with an Environmental Engineering degree. A research service project she performed as an undergraduate, in which she designed and constructed rainwater collection and storage systems to provide clean drinking water to rural areas in the Peruvian Amazon, crystallized Emma’s goals of bringing  drinkable water to communities and cleaning up pollution.

Emma, who graduated in December 2010 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and went on to earn her M.S. in May 2012, credits FIU CEE’s Environmental Engineering faculty members for having a strong impact on her success.

“The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at FIU offered a friendly and welcoming environment to learn and fostered in me a desire to make a difference for those my work will impact, the natural environment, and communities of people,” says Emma. “My professors have always been supportive of my academic and professional endeavors when attending professional conferences, travelling to other countries, or applying to scholarships and fellowship programs. I am very thankful for the department’s support.”

As a CHCI Graduate STEM Fellow, Emma is working with the National Science Foundation and the Office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson to enhance her leadership skills and gain knowledge about policy-making. Additionally, Emma was recently accepted to the doctoral program in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. She will begin pursuing her Ph.D., with a focus on sustainable development, in the fall.