Emma Mae Veloso—one of 12 recent recipients of the Haas Foundation Scholarship for machining students—takes a focus on the human element to engineering.
Engineering disciplines require an exacting nature. Measurements and calculations must be precise. Logical steps beget identifying the problem and constructing a solution. But what about the human element and emotional intelligence?
Emma Mae Veloso (ME), has been an engineer long before she's been an Owl. Her father—an industrial engineer with DVIRC—ingrained engineering processes and efficiency into the minds of her and her siblings, all of whom are studying engineering, too.
"He was always hands-on around the house. We were hanging out with power tools, building stuff together," she said. "We're a very logical, hands-on sort of family."
Emma has applied that logical thinking to service in other pursuits: she's an EMT with TU EMS and serves as a peer educator with the Wellness Resource Center, while also serving as a TA for a course teaching peer education techniques to other students.
"There's a stereotype about engineering students that they can't write well or talk to people," she said, describing how she combines logical problem-solving with relationships.
"Let's say we're having this issue: what can we do to fix it? Not just pretend to fix it or sweep it under the rug. It's so important for engineers to be able to talk to other engineers, to clients, to their bosses who may not be engineers."
From the looks of her calendar, she's building a lot of relationships, including a stint volunteering for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, helping a young girl develop her communication skills.
She also previously participated in Society for Automotive Engineers, as well as Engineers Without Borders, which worked in El Salvador to help provide a rainwater distribution system.
"It was really about working with the community and giving them the skills to maintain it, rather than swooping in and building something, ensuring they could afford and maintain this thing," she said.
Still, Emma's eye is on the human part, as she noted she wants to end up in medical school. Though, with the addition of some finality of seeing an issue through to the end.
"I don't like emergency medicine, necessarily. You treat a patient and send them to the hospital and that's it. I'm drawn more to family medicine, figuring out where the problem even is, and helping to construct a solution," she said.
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