portrait of Brianna Chavez

ASU graduate helps fellow students find success

By

Amanda Stoneman

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2019 commencement.

Brianna Chavez has demonstrated the defining qualities of a great leader by seizing every opportunity for personal and professional growth in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“I’m eternally grateful to the university for providing me with infinite opportunities to get involved,” said Chavez, an industrial engineering major with a minor in global health. “I’ve been impacted equally by the people and experiences brought to me by the Fulton Schools.”

As an out-of-state student who knew no one on campus, Chavez appreciated the Fulton Schools’ commitment to building a sense of camaraderie among students through E2, peer mentors and student organizations. She found a group of friends and learned from peer mentors who guided her toward leadership positions, internships and eventually an offer for her dream job.

“I felt — and still feel — an urgent call to pay forward the time and effort my mentors have poured into me,” said Chavez, who is graduating with honors from Barrett, The Honors College.

During her first year at ASU, Chavez became a member of Engineers Without Borders, Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

She served as an international project lead in Engineers Without Borders, which led to her election as student chapter president. She coordinated two trips to Pune, India, where students assessed problems with water shortages and contamination and developed solutions for those needs. As president, she applied her industrial engineering mindset to improve internal chapter processes.

Chavez has also served as a peer mentor, a camp counselor at E2, an undergraduate research assistant and an undergraduate teaching assistant. More recently, she became a mentor for Young Engineers Shape the World and served as a panelist for Intel’s Hermanas: Diseña Tu Futuro. These initiatives inspire young girls to pursue careers in science and engineering through engagement and mentorship. 

“The most rewarding part of my ASU experience has been to watch students I have mentored succeed in their own goals,” said Chavez.

In addition to her extracurricular activities, Chavez found the time to intern at Goldman Sachs, AXON and W. L. Gore and Associates, and to study abroad in London and Brisbane, Australia.

After graduation, Chavez will enter the Operations Leadership Development Program at Lockheed Martin, an aerospace and defense company. She’d also like to earn a master’s degree.

“My passions lie in the public sector,” said Chavez. “I hope to apply my engineering skills to initiatives and organizations that improve public health and welfare.”

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Chavez's favorites

TV show: "Bob’s Burgers"
Hobbies: Reading true crime fiction, cooking new dishes, making ceramic pottery.
Sport: "I’ve always loved soccer. I cannot be near a soccer ball without spending a few minutes juggling."
Book: “Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa” by Joanna Davidson
Geeky possession: "I own several graphic prints ranging in theme from Star Wars to the Kill Bill movies."

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2019 class.