Impact Award, Spring 2023
Cecilia Alcantar was inspired by her high school chemistry and physics teacher, an Arizona State University alum, to pursue engineering. When she found out the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU had the largest engineering school in the country, she knew she had to be a part of it.
She was soon immersed in project courses where she could build catapults, LED circuits and model rockets with friends and classmates — that’s what she says, made engineering fun.
Alcantar recalls a time when she and her team were testing their rocket at the park as one of her most memorable projects.
“We practiced on the dirt lot and our fin broke because the dirt was so compact versus the grass at the park,” she says. “We ended up adjusting the thickness of our 3D-printed fin and it was a great learning experience.”
Alcantar says that projects like this gave her the critical thinking skills to approach problems in a unique and valuable way.
Beyond academics, Alcantar made her voice heard in various student leadership roles. As student body president of ASU’s Polytechnic campus, she met with various faculty members, surveyed students, gave building tours and made first-year students aware of the tools and resources available to them.
Alcantar says that providing support to other students is important to her and leadership roles allowed her to do that. She also aims to inspire her younger siblings through leadership.
Her various roles have provided a platform to share her viewpoints on the value of women in engineering.
“Women in engineering are critical because they bring fresh perspectives to the table and serve groups that may be overlooked,” Alcantar says.
Her plans following graduation align with the work she’s done as an ASU student. She says she wants to implement the engineering and leadership skills that she has learned to “help bring individuals, groups and departments together to accomplish complex engineering projects.”
In her mission to achieve this, Alcantar has plans to attend graduate school at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU to pursue a master’s degree in global management.