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Student Success Amaris Rodriguez

  • ENV ENG Success AmarisRecent environmental engineering graduate Amaris Rodriguez (’16) landed a job in the nation's largest network of medical facilities, the VA. Amaris was kind enough to make some time amidst the fast pace of a new job to tell as a little more about her path and what she’s up to now.

    What attracted you to the Environmental Engineering major? 

     I was always passionate about taking care of the environment and had an interest in environmental issues. I saw myself in a career that would protect the environment, but I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do. I decided that I would combine this passion with my desire to challenge myself intellectually in college. I thought that majoring in environmental engineering would allow me to have a career that would involve me with solving environmental problems, while having challenging coursework to keep me interested. I also knew that with environmental engineering there would be many varying career opportunities, which I liked because I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduation.

    What were your most memorable learning experiences in the program at SFU and how have those experiences helped you?

    My most memorable learning experiences were working on all the different projects, from building a flashlight out of recycled materials to redesigning the campus’ wastewater treatment plant. Being involved in these different projects have taught me how to be a good team member, as well as a leader. From these projects, I also learned organizational and time management skills. As well as these useful skills, I learned of many possibilities there would be for me as an environmental engineer.

    What were the most useful skills that you developed while at SFU?

    The most useful skills that I developed while at SFU came from my experiences with the different projects in the environmental engineering program. I was able to improve my time management, communication, and research skills. I utilize these skills almost daily at my job for every small individual tasks to interdisciplinary projects. They have not only helped me get my current job, but also help me be able to efficiently work on many projects at once, even ones I have no prior experience in.

     What is your current job and what is it like?

    I am an environmental engineer TCF trainee at the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.  My job currently consists of a lot of shadowing and training. My day to day work experience is very varying. I am involved in making sure the medical center is compliant with all environmental regulations, as well as continuously working to make sure the facility is becoming more sustainable. The major tasks I am involved with are waste disposal and tracking, medical waste audits, safety and construction inspections, and Legionella water sampling. I am working on two major projects now which are food waste minimization and downgrading the facility’s air permit. 

    Environmental Engineering at SFU