Engineering major credits family for motivation

by MATT MOLINAR//Associate Editor

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With a great amount of motivation and discipline, one student at South Plains College has garnered success by working hard and staying determined.

Nancy Muñoz, a sophomore engineering major from Levelland, spends the majority of her time devoted to her education, as well as multiple student organizations.

Muñoz is a Campus Ambassador, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and a math tutor in the STAR Center. She also serves as president of the STAR organization, president of the Catholic Student Ministry, co-president of SEARCH and a University Innovation fellow.

“I do everything,” Muñoz said. “My free time is spent doing the engineering homework I have.”

Muñoz credits her family as her main source of motivation. She says her main goal is to become employed at a well-paying job to be able to return the favor of her parents raising her and allowing her to experience the opportunities she has had.

“I’m doing all of this because my parents were immigrants,” Muñoz said. “I want to end up with a good career, because I want to give back. My parents, as well as my little sister, motivate me. I see my little sister doing all of these things in school and it makes me so proud. I want her to be just like me.”

Muñoz says she plans on staying in the state with the job she is working toward, settling down close to her family with somebody she loves. She plans on transferring to Texas Tech University, where she will continue with a minor in business. However, she will have to stay another year at SPC in order to qualify for a scholarship.

“I was super psyched to go to Tech next semester,” Munoz said. “But I want to apply for the Terry Foundation Scholarship, and I’m too young for it. You have to be 20 by May 1. I don’t turn 20 until May 21.”

Muñoz says the reason she chose to major in engineering is because she enjoys being able to accomplish challenges as a minority who may not be expected to do so.

“In engineering, women are the minority,” Muñoz said. “I chose it because I think if other people can do it, then I can do it. I’m a very big supporter of women, and in almost all of my classes, I’m the only female in the room. It’s a struggle being a minority, but I’ve ended my classes being one of the best students.”

Muñoz recently was offered an internship for the summer at Stanford University in California, where she will be conducting research for the Department of Energy.

“It’s a community college internship,” Muñoz explained. “I’ll be staying for nine weeks, starting in the beginning of June. I’m very nervous, especially being away from Frank, my boyfriend.”

As a member of University Innovation Fellows, Muñoz, along with SPC student Timmy Friesen, were able to participate in a conference at Stanford University during their Silicon Valley meet up. She was able to meet with 300 University Innovation Fellows from different areas across the globe. During the conference, the students were able to spend time at the Google Headquarters and maker space garage, Stanford design school, SAP (System Applications and Processing), and Microsoft headquarters.

“We did a lot of activities over design and innovative thinking,” Muñoz said. “We also learned how to design maker spaces. We are currently in the process of getting a maker space in our Math Building at SPC.”

Muñoz says that devoting the amount of time she puts in for academics and student organizations is easy at SPC because of how involved the professors have been in her education.

“The things I like most about SPC are the professors and the cost,” explains Muñoz. “The professors are really here to help you and get you prepared for a place like TTU.”

Muñoz says that staying organized is the key to being involved and getting the most out of your classes. She explains that confidence and organization are important to her success.

“I would say get a planner,” Muñoz said. “Be sure you know how to organize your time, especially if you’re going to be in any clubs or organizations. Be prepared to come out of your bubble, and be confident in everything that you do. If you show passion towards something, people are going to be attracted to that.”

[Photo by MATT MOLINAR/PLAINSMAN PRESS]

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