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Volunteer Spotlight: Mariajose Figueroa- Future Computational Data Science Engineering

23-Apr-2019 8:48 PM | Melanie Boyer (Administrator)

The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Thanks

Mariajose Figueroa

for her dedication and volunteerism



2 Semesters, 6 Ongoing Roles, 5 Organizations, 3 Conferences, 3 Scholarships and ONE INSPIRATIONAL LATINA! 

(Interview  & Contact Information Below)

Mariajose Figueroa is a Colombian/Honduran, Pittsburgh Native. This Penn State (Main) freshman was accepted in to the Engineering program. In only her first year she has taken on becoming a Teaching Assistant and Grader for Computer Science course, Freshman Representative Chair for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Social Media Chair for the Society of Women Engineers, Director of Communication for the Society of Women Engineers (elect August 2019/May 2020), Sophomore Women Ambassador Team Envoy (fall 2019-spring 2020) and ambassador for the college of engineering.

She is a member of the Collegiate and National member of the Society of Women Engineers, Collegiate and National member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Women Engineering Program, Participant of Women Engineering Program Orientation and the Society of Women Engineers Benefitting THON.

Mariajose has attended the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Conference (Cleveland, Ohio), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Regional Leadership Conference (Washington D.C.), Society of Women Engineers Local Conference (Baltimore, Maryland).

As a result of her first year activities Ms. Figueroa has accepted the Bunton Waller Merit Award Scholarship, Engineering Scholarship and the Society of Women Engineers “Most Active Member” Scholarship.


University: Pennsylvania State University, University Park(main campus)

Degree: Computational Data Science Engineering

Favorite College Course: CMPSC 132 (Python language)

Why did you choose this career path? I chose to study Computational Data Science Engineering because of my interest in computer science and artificial intelligence. Throughout High School I learned Java, HTML and later Python. With these skills and my knowledge for math and science I knew that this field was the perfect fit for me.

What is your dream job? My dream job is to one day be a Data Scientist. I want to hold a position where I would be responsible for interpreting large amounts of data using statistics, and machine learning to collect, organize and clean through data.

What is your Hispanic background? Colombian (mothers side) Honduran (fathers side)

How did you get involved with the Chamber? I started volunteering for PMAHCC my freshman year of High School, my first event being the Gala in the fall. I loved being around people from different countries around the world and listening to everyones incredible story. I later got my sisters involved and made it a fun thing that I liked to do with them.

What motivates you? Every time I learn something new and find a way to apply that knowledge I feel motivated to keep learning, and acquiring new skills to become better student, thinker, and future engineer.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see my future self having a job where I love doing what I do possibly with a family.

Tell us about a cultural experience you have had./ What is your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement is studying abroad in Colombia when I was younger. I was very fortunate to be given this opportunity at a very young age. It opened my eyes to a new culture and outlook on life. I learned how to speak the language, more about my background, and family.

What do you like about volunteering for PMAHCC? Every time I volunteer for PMAHCC I love how every event feels like a family/friend gathering where people come together to catch up while meeting new people and have a nice time.

What do you like to do if your downtime? In my downtime at Penn State I like to take advantage of all the resources given to me. I go to the gym, sporting events, and I am involved in many of the clubs and organization around campus. I am the Treasurer of the first STEM sorority on campus that I am in the process of building and a Chair for the Society o Hispanic Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. I will  also be a SWAT (Sophomore Women Ambassador Team) Envoy next year in the College of Engineering.

Tell us one interesting thing about you: I thought I’d never be interested in being an engineer. My father is a Mechanical Engineer so I always thought I had to find what I loved and wanted to study and for some reason I never thought it would be the same as his. I guess it’s in our blood.


Connect with Mariajose on LinkedIn

Email Mariajose: mjf6007@psu.edu



Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization 

One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300  Pittsburgh PA 15219 U.S.A.
Phone: (412) 577-4008  Fax: (412) 255-3701 ● email: chamber@pmahcc.org

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