Getting ready to graduate from Malcolm X College in December of 2018, Marvin Rivera already has a few research projects under his belt through the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program, and UIC’s Bridges to Baccalaureate program.
Interested in engineering, Marvin is constantly looking for opportunities to get experience in the field, even if it isn’t exactly what he wants to focus on. When his calculus teacher first told him about the NASA program, he didn’t think he was interested because it focused on aerospace engineering and not the biomedical engineering he is interested in. After talking to a friend who had participated in the program, he decided to apply and was glad he did – he spent 5 weeks over the summer of 2018 in the online class component of the program, then a week at NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility to work on projects, meet other community college students from across the country, and hear first-hand from engineers in the field.
The same summer, Marvin spent eight weeks at UIC participating in the Bridges to baccalaureate program in a lab working on finding a way to inhibit and slow the progression of leukemia. Marvin enjoyed his time there, solidifying the idea that he should pursue an education and career in the field.
A participant in the Transfer Scholars program, Marvin was accepted to the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship, and plans to start in the spring of 2019. He also hopes to get into IIT’s co-terminal program, which would allow him to pursue a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at the same time.
Marvin is interested in biology and in building things, and with his degree in biomedical engineering, eventually wants to design and build prostheses.