Student Profile - Brenda-Hernandez-Iglesias

Pursuing chemical engineering with a medical career in mind

Brenda Hernandez-InglesiasWhen Brenda Hernandez-Iglesias, a sophomore from Beaumont, Texas, graduated as salutatorian from her high school, she wanted a university where she could really get involved. Interested in biology, she considered several universities but decided on Lamar University because of its strong science programs, accessible resources and benefits, and generous scholarship offers.

“Lamar has helped me by giving me the opportunity to study a major with many resources around, and there are also a lot of organizations that are designed to help students find internships, jobs and other opportunities,” Iglesias said.

The 20-year-old tried her hand as biology major with a Pre-Med concentration, but after a semester, she realized she was better suited for chemistry. Iglesias now pursues a chemical engineering degree and maintains her Pre-Med concentration.

Iglesias’s noteworthy achievements, despite her busy schedule, set her apart from the average student.

“I am very involved on campus, in my sorority, and in my job, but I still manage to keep my balance between all of those and do well academically. My background also makes me unique. I was born in Mexico and moved to the United States nine years ago. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles along the way, and I believe I have accomplished a lot throughout the years. I love my culture and even though my future is here I continue to go back to Mexico to see all my family and also to explore the country,” Iglesias said.

“One of the major contributing factors to my success is that I was always raised to do my very best and to be passionate about what I do. I have always liked to challenge myself and choosing chemical engineering as my major has definitely challenged me to study harder than I ever had to,” she explained. “Also, my mentality to never give up has motivated me to press on when there are obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. My faith has also kept me going, along with my family and sorority sisters who have been my support system throughout this whole experience.”

Iglesias says that her access to different opportunities through LU is part of what helps her to grow as a student and as a responsible citizen. She currently holds a flexible, on-campus job in the Advancement Services office where she works alongside professionals. Also, her sorority membership in Alpha Delta Pi has afforded her the chance to become an officer, and the position teaches her valuable life skills.

“When I joined Alpha Delta Pi, I was able to become a leader in the sorority by deciding to be an officer. My position as the scholarship chair in the chapter taught me how to communicate well with others, how to be responsible, how to manage my time wisely, and how to be a well-rounded person,” says Iglesias.

Brenda Hernandez-IglesiasIglesias is the recipient of two scholarships: the Southeast Texas Legends Scholarship and the Charles and Susan Gordon and Julia Gordon Gray Memorial Scholarship. She believes that the assistance has made possible her thorough education and participation in campus organizations. Iglesias is grateful that the scholarships attracted her to LU, too, because she is now sure the school was her best choice. The scholarships come with more that just financial benefits: as a recipient, she will receive a brand new laptop, and the required minimum 3.0 GPA and reports of her academic progress every semester keep her focused. 

“One of my highest personal achievements has been receiving the Southeast Texas Legends scholarship. It was an honor to be one of the few people to receive this huge privilege, and it has been a great motivation throughout my years in college,” she affirmed, believing it helped her earn her place on the President’s List one semester and on the Dean’s List two semesters.

After graduating, Iglesias will return to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. She wants to gear her education towards helping those with disabilities.

“I see myself working for a company in which I can help design and create technologies that help improve human health and make living easier for those who have disabilities. I want to be able make a difference in people’s lives by using what I have learned through chemical engineering and hopefully what I will learn by studying biomedical engineering. I want to give them hope,” she said.

Iglesias will graduate in May 2017. Because of the generosity extended to her during her time at Lamar University, she hopes to be involved as an alumnus and even donate to the engineering program or begin her own scholarship for future students.