I help American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages with renewable energy technical assistance. As an example, I explain how solar panels or photovoltaic (PV) panels work and how to save energy before thinking of putting up PV panels. I also have graduate American Indian students who work for me each summer. I take them to tribal renewable energy installations to see first hand what projects are working for the tribes.
I remember walking from my elementary school to the cafeteria in the cold; I wished there was a warm monorail train that could shuttle me instead of being outside. That was my first memory of trying to problem solve. As an elementary school student, I enjoyed math, science and understanding how gadgets work. I am not a great artist as I thought about becoming an architect. My sixth grade teacher encouraged me to think about engineering as engineers work with architects. I found out engineers are problem solvers and have to be good listeners to hear customer requests. I’m great at both skills and I like to help people so I enjoy being an engineer!
I have two university degrees from the University of New Mexico: an Associate of Science degree in Pre-Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. I also received an incredible fellowship which paid for a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University.