Celebrating Diversity - Stephanie Perez

  • Collage of photos: Stephanie with her dog Sweetie, a selfie and her family.

Celebrating Diversity: Stephanie Perez

Stephanie having a late study night with her roommate (working on Dynamics).

Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

In the College of Engineering, all are welcome. To better share the stories of how our faculty, staff, students and alumni are diverse in their many varying forms, we are celebrating various heritage and other nationally recognized months. This recognition will include stories about those in our greater engineering community, as well as sharing events and other opportunities.

Stephanie Perez

CIVE major, College of Engineering

Q: Describe a bit about your personal and/or professional background.

A: I am a Latina first-generation student and my parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico 24 years ago. My parents are native to Tehuacán, Puebla while I am native to South Sioux City, Nebraska. Here at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, I am a third-year civil engineering major and have minors in chemistry, math, and environmental engineering. I hope to go to graduate school to attain my PhD in environmental engineering.

Since a goal of mine is to go to graduate school, I am involved in undergraduate research studying microplastics with Dr. Bartelt-Hunt. A little more about myself is that I am a McNair Scholar, a member of Engineering Without Borders, and I work as a Dean’s Leader for the College of Engineering.

Stephanie's family celebrating her mom's birthday

Q: What is your role in the College of Engineering – and what do you enjoy (love!) about what you are doing?

A: I currently work as a Dean’s Leader for the College of Engineering where I give tours of the engineering facilities and share my experience as an engineering undergraduate at student panels. I am also an undergraduate researcher which is my favorite part about being an undergraduate engineering student at UNL. This past summer I investigated different microplastic extraction methods and assessed which method worked best. This academic school year I will continue researching how these extraction methods perform in varying soils in addition to how they perform extracting different microplastic polymers.

Q: Why is your heritage meaningful to you and your family? Is there a specific example/event/tradition of how you showcase or celebrate your heritage in its many forms?

A: I have always held the belief that my heritage is what keeps me, and my family grounded and allows us to have a unique outlook on life that we otherwise would not have. Heritage also allows me and my family to always be connected, no matter what different paths we take in life we will always have our heritage binding us together. One way my family and I showcase our heritage is through our traditional dances we perform at family events.

Q: How do you bring your own unique background to your role/responsibilities in the college or in your professional life?

A: I work as a Dean’s Leader for the College of Engineering and am currently doing research through UCARE.

Q: What advice or words of wisdom could you share with others in our UNL College of Engineering community (staff, faculty, students, alums)?

A: I hope we continue in our efforts to be inclusive and diverse within the College of Engineering as the engineering field is a field where minorities are underrepresented.