Impact Award, Spring 2021
Jeremy Guerrero wanted to study environmental engineering because of how environmental problems yield solutions with wide-reaching implications, including sustaining global ecosystems and prioritizing public health.
“About five years ago, there was an incident where a brain-eating amoeba claimed a swimmer’s life in a river I frequented as a child,” Guerrero says. “While it was a rather grim reminder about the importance of water quality and monitoring for contamination, it was a breakthrough moment for my future plans outside of academia.”
At ASU, Guerrero was the treasurer for the American Society of Civil Engineers, the outreach coordinator for the Society of Water and Environmental Leaders, the marshal for civil engineering honor society Chi Epsilon, and was also part of Fulton Ambassadors, engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
“I served as a campus ambassador for the Out4Undergrad Conferences,” Guerrero says. “In this role, I promoted O4U Conferences, which are opportunities for LGBTQIA2S+ individuals to experience intimate mentorship and build their networks. Out4Undergad Conferences were created to highlight the importance of demanding inclusive representation in the workspace and beyond.”
Guerrero was also involved in the Fulton Academic Integrity Matters program, participated in Engineering Projects in Community Service for two semesters, conducted undergraduate research funded by the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities and served as an ASU 101 Section Leader, undergraduate teaching assistant, grader and community assistant in the Tooker House residence hall.
After graduation, Guerrero has plans to attend graduate school and then earn a doctorate in environmental engineering with an emphasis on wastewater treatment and resource recovery, which was in part inspired by a summer research experience.
“During the summer of 2019, I participated in the ReNUWIt Research Experience for Undergraduates Program at the University of California, Berkeley, where I was tasked with conducting an extensive literature review to identify a novel method that quantified biofilm detachment in direct potable reuse systems,” Guerrero says. “This project was memorable because it allowed me to apply my developing knowledge of wastewater treatment while simultaneously exposing myself to subjects like environmental microbiology that I would experience later in my program’s curriculum.”
Professionally, he aspires to work at the forefront of implementing water reuse practices or become involved in environmental research within a government institution, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Engineering has equipped me with a new mindset to navigate through life,” Guerrero says. “Rather than viewing problems as burdensome forces of opposition, I have learned to see problems as opportunities for growth and improvement.”