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Cal State L.A. mechanical engineering major wins national student leadership award

September 29, 2014

Cal State L.A. mechanical engineering major wins national student leadership award

September 29, 2014

 Los Angeles, CA – Cal State L.A.’s mechanical engineering major Ernesto Covarrubias has been selected by the GREAT Minds in STEM (GMiS) as this year’s recipient of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Undergraduate Student Leadership Award. The award recognizes students who display outstanding leadership and technical talent as an emerging scholar in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

“I am excited to receive this honor and represent my Cal State L.A. community,” said Covarrubias, a Commerce resident. “I ‘m looking forward to furthering my education and sharing my experiences and knowledge with students, so they may also be successful in the future.”

As part of the award, Covarrubias will receive a HENAAC/The Chrysler Foundation scholarship as well as a stipend to cover the cost of travel, registration and accommodations to attend the 26thannual HENAAC conference in New Orleans Oct. 2–4. He will also be honored at the conference’s Student Leadership Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

With an interest in learning more about graduate school and research opportunities, Covarrubias participated in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program. He and his research team studied the “Biomechanical Tolerance of the Human Tibia under Dynamic Latero-Medial Bending.” He presented the final project at the 2014 Golden Key International Summit in Boston, MA.

“The research is focused on testing the tolerance and fracture pattern of a tibia model specific to high-impact automobile accidents. This is important for determining loading conditions and fracture patterns to human long bones,” Covarrubias said.

Most recently, Covarrubias was one of only six students selected to join this year’s CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Summer Research Program. The goal was to get field experience and better understand the vast biodiversity of the country. He and his team combined their knowledge of research and statistics method to analyze real-world problems affecting Costa Rica.

Representing the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, Covarrubias served on the university’s Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors. He was president of the Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering honor society and chair of the University-Student Union Board of Director. He has also served as vice president of corporate affairs and treasurer of the Society of Hispanic Engineers and Science Students on campus.

Covarrubias plans to pursue a master’s degree after graduating from Cal State L.A.

Now in its 26th year of promoting STEM to underserved and underrepresented communities, GMiS is also pleased to announce the following Cal State L.A. students who were selected among the Class of 2014 HENAAC Scholars:

HENAAC/The Chrysler Foundation: Christian Cabrera (electrical engineering major)

HENAAC/Dow Chemical: Mark Alvarez (mechanical engineering major)

HENAAC/Lockheed Martin Corporation: Alan Gonzalez (electrical and computer engineering major) and Martin Sandoval (electrical engineering major)

HENAAC/Southern California Edison: Samantha Sotez(mechanical engineering)

National Football Hall of Fame – San Gabriel Valley/Pasadena Chapter Scholarship: Jose Robles (aerospace engineering)

HENAAC/Victoria Alegria Tracy Memorial Scholarship: Liliana Montes de Oca (mechanical and manufacturing engineering) and Leticia Santana (mechanical engineering)

This class of awardees represents the outstanding scholastic achievements of some of the nation’s most technically talented underserved students. More than 800 students applied for scholarship competition. GMiS awards these merit-based scholarships in three categories: Corporate/Federal Agency-Sponsored Scholarships; Special Recognition Scholarships; and In Memoriam and Personal Tribute Scholarships.

About Great Minds in STEM: Great Minds in STEM™ is an education, national 501(c)3 nonprofit, with a goal to be a leader in keeping America technologically strong by promoting science, technology, engineering and math careers, especially in underserved communities. For more information, visit the Great Minds in STEM™ website at