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Matthew Vining, Alumni
B.S. Environmental and Ecological Engineering '21
Hometown: Boerne, TX
"The Minority Engineering Program connected me, and continues to connect me to friends and peers who share similar goals of ensuring equal and equitable access to engineering for multiple communities."

Matthew first connected with MEP as a prospective student in 2017. He was invited to visit Purdue through MEP's PREVIEW Program and Destination Purdue. In comparison to other schools he was considering, he liked how he was prioritized as a valuable component of the future engineering student body. Virginia Booth Womack, Director of MEP, was a valuable part of his Purdue journey and what it meant to be a minority engineering student on campus from that day forward.

When Matthew started classes on campus, he knew that he could always reach out to her if he had questions or needed help. MEP consistently offered opportunities to him through professional networking sessions, academic assistance, and other related events. 

As the former President of a minority engineering student organization, Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES), Matthew is grateful for the financial and advisory resources that MEP provided (and continues to provide) to Purdue's chapter and its members. Without MEP's support, many members might not have been able to have the full experience of the organization.

With regards to the MEP staff, he said: "It is a community of caring and passionate staff that improves the experience for all minorities in STEM at Purdue."

Matthew's advice to incoming students at Purdue, "The First-Year Engineering (FYE) program at Purdue is a great way to reflect on your academic and professional goals and to find a program that suits these aspirations. As engineering students, you will find yourself in ambitious and anxious states in the steps leading up to your goals. In doing so, you often forget what it means to experience engineering education and focusing on what drives your passion to continue your education. While it is important to study and work hard, it is also okay to experience failures and feelings of uneasiness. Prioritize your mental and emotional health, as much as you do with your academic success. There are resources both on and off-campus in the Greater Lafayette community. In addition to this, as Boilermakers, Purdue is a community in itself."

 

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