Ryan S. Brandenberg

Helping prospective students and giving back to those who were in his position in high school is incredibly important to Electrical Engineering Junior Raynel Lopez-Morel. Born in the Dominican-Republic, raised in Philadelphia, and a first-generation college student, he understands the importance of providing guidance to prospective students like himself. Luckily, his role as a College of Engineering Peer Advisor and Student Ambassador allows him to do just that. 

As a Peer Advisor and Student Ambassador, Lopez-Morel helps with tours, speaks to prospective students, assists with larger events at the college, and many other tasks that come up throughout the academic year, but he often goes above and beyond in his role. 

When he was a sophomore, Lopez-Morel coordinated a visit with students from his former high school, Esperanza Academy, to come to the College of Engineering. Working with Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, Shawn Fagan, Lopez-Morel took students on a tour of the building and hosted a Q&A session afterwards. "I was able to give them...a personal connection...to what they're currently doing in high school and what I'm doing now," he explains. 

The advice he likes to give to prospective students and college freshman regarding first starting college is to "take it seriously," but to know that "you can hit a few speed bumps along the way, and you'll still be fine." He also encourages students to take their first semester to "[decide] what they want to do." 

Lopez-Morel's own college journey started outside of the College of Engineering as a computer science major and is grateful that he took the time during his first semester to explore what it was he wanted to pursue. 

After spending a semester as a computer science major, he started to investigate computer engineering and found that it was more closely aligned with his career goals and was drawn to the prospect of smaller class sizes in the College of Engineering. Despite the change in major, Lopez-Morel is still on track to graduate in four years, using his own college experience to back up his advice of exploration. 

He's also taken this approach in terms of career goals. Lopez-Morel decided to use his internship and extracurricular experiences to help determine what he wanted to do in the future. While his main interest remained computer engineering, he explored an internship focused on the power side of electrical engineering, wanting to make sure he knew all that the electrical engineering field had to offer.  

Exploring different internship options helped him determine he wants a computer engineering career that is programming based. His professional goal is to work on graphics cards and processors, and to ultimately get into the design of processors for personal computers.  

Working through the college experience himself, Lopez-Morel enjoys the opportunity to help current and prospective students in any way he can. He's also grateful for the experiences and relationships he's been able to build as a result of his roles as a Peer Advisor and Student Ambassador. Working alongside the Academic Advising team as well as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, Shawn Fagan, are experiences he considers priceless.