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CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Students Chosen for Leadership Conference

Date: 10-31-2013

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Danielle McNamara, MESA

A select group of California State University, Chico students recently honed their leadership skills at a special invitation-only conference in San Diego for math-based majors. The event was sponsored by the California Utilities Diversity Council.

The 10th annual Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference held Oct. 18-19 offered extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers.

The MESA students, all science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) majors, represented more than 30 universities and community colleges from across the state, including CSU, Chico.

The participating CSU, Chico students, all freshmen, were Mauricio Anaya, civil engineering; Gabriel Garcia, mechanical engineering; David Gonzalez, mechanical engineering; and Elyja Swick, construction management.

Students participated in mock interviews, connected with industry representatives from 16 national and California companies and heard guest speakers. MESA alumnus and state Senator Alex Padilla encouraged students to work hard and strive for success, and was honored with the MESA Outstanding Alumni Award.

CSU, Chico students were sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company, whose contribution allowed students from Northern California campuses to attend. Pacific Gas & Electric Company employees volunteered their time to work with the students during the conference.

“We know that California’s economy needs more STEM workers to stay competitive,” said MESA Executive Director Oscar F. Porter. “These students provide the solution to industry’s need for well-trained professionals. They were selected to attend the conference because these students have strong leadership skills. This event gives them a chance to interact extensively with STEM professionals currently working in industry.”

MESA promotes STEM success for more than 28,000 educationally disadvantaged secondary, community college and four-year college students in California through project-based learning, academic counseling and exposure to STEM careers, so they can graduate from college with math-based degrees. Seventy percent of MESA high school graduates statewide went directly to college after graduation compared to 48 percent of all California graduates. Sixty percent of MESA students go on to math, science or engineering majors. For more information about MESA, visit http://mesa.ucop.edu/home.html.