FREEDM Experience Inspires Hispanic Female to be a Leader in Engineering

Achievement date: 
2014
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Gretchen Rivera, a Hispanic female engineer, was awarded a Graduate Fellowship for the completion of her Ph.D. studies at Florida State University, a core partner of the NSF-funded Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems (FREEDM) Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at North Carolina State University. Formerly a student in the Center’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, FREEDM has shaped and supported Rivera’s full academic career.

Impact/benefits: 

Few Hispanic women pursue Ph.D. studies in engineering; Rivera is an inspiring exception given her leadership expertise in the renewable energy field. With her Graduate Fellowship award, Rivera will also mentor precollege and college students in Smart Grid infrastructure while serving as a powerful role model for all women and Hispanics pursuing engineering disciplines.

Explanation/Background: 

The FREEDM Center’s summer REU program introduces domestic undergraduate students, primarily from underrepresented groups in engineering, to a greater awareness and understanding of research through an 8-10 week experiential learning program. The Graduate Fellowship offers financial support to domestic students from underrepresented groups in engineering for the first year of their Ph.D. studies.