Purdue School of Engineering and Technology
Most people find electrical power useful, but for senior Diana Vasquez of the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology at IUPUI, electricity powers more than just lights and TVs — it fuels her career dreams and aspirations.
The electrical engineering major spends hours in laboratories and on research projects learning more about the field she hopes might one day lead to her own business; it’s taught her a lot about circuitry. But Diana’s own “circuit” is compelling, leading from her native Colombia to IUPUI and to recognition as one of IUPUI’s 2008 “Top 100” students.
She and her family moved to Indiana “for the opportunities here,” and Diana has been quick to take advantage of every new opportunity that comes her way, whether it’s the close ties to E&T mentors and faculty, research teams, support groups and associations, or regular contact with engineering companies and firms that offer internships and job opportunities in central Indiana.
Diana is the president of the IUPUI chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, an organization that helped her find her way through the options in engineering and technology and gives her the chance to pass along the same guidance that “made such a difference to me.” She has been one of IUPUI’s Student Ambassadors, an E&T mentor in freshman orientation, and worked in E&T summer camps that offer young girls a glimpse of the world of engineering.
Volunteering comes naturally to Diana, who has been a regular interpreter for Hoosier Hospitality greeting visitors to the city for international events like the U.S. Grand Prix, and she also uses her linguistic skills in a part-time job translating English into Spanish for an agency working with Clarian Health. In her spare time, Diana is an avid fan of salsa dancing — “though I don’t get to do that very often,” she laments — and enjoys watching soccer.
She’s even turned into a bit of an IUPUI recruiter: her first big “catch” was her young brother, who like Diana is an E&T student; they even share a class together, taking German as part of Diana’s goal of becoming tri-lingual.