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Michelle Padilla

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Why UC Merced?

As a first generation low-income student I did not have a lot of knowledge about post secondary education. However, I did know that I wanted to attend a university within the UC system. With UC Merced being oneof my top choices due to it's affordability and size, I chose to attend Bobcat Day. After attending and getting to see the campus in person for the first time, I knew that I would be going to UC Merced. Not only was the campus great but the community of people from UCM that I interacted with werevery welcoming and comforting.

Why Your Major?

I chose my major because I have always been very intrigued by the STEM field and I wanted to have the knowledge to be able to work on my own personal projects one day.

Inspiration and Mentors

I have many people that have motivated me and inspired me to become who I am today and who I want to be in the future. First is my family that have always encouraged me to do whatever will make me happy and have never discouraged me from pursuing my current endeavors.
 Second is one of my high school teachers, Mr.Frank who always motivated me to do better academically for myself and no one else. Lastly, is my current faculty mentor Dr.Ashlie Martini. At the time of our first conversation I was not sure what I wanted to do with my degree. But now after having been apart of her lab and with her guidance I have found a path that I am very excited to take.

Memorable Academic Experience

One of my most memorable academic experiences has to be working on and completing the Four-Ball Nitrogen Chamber Project with one of the Graduate students from the Martini Lab, Jose Arturo. I remember having the most satisfying feeling when we ran our first successful test after multiple days of work. Arturo even pointed out that I had a large grin on my face.

What's Next?

After I graduate, I will be coming back to UC Merced to begin the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program. I will continue to be a part of the Martini Group and working on my current projects.

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