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Student Spotlight - Tonia Wang

Tonia Wangtonia-wang

Senior, Civil Engineering

Activities

  • American Society of Civil Engineers, Engineering Student Council Liaison
  • Engineering Student Council, Public Relations Chair
  • Alpha Omega Epsilon Engineering Sorority
  • Hinman CEOs
  • UMD Group Fitness: I teach BodyPump and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • Chi Epsilon, Civil Engineering Honors Society
  • College Park Scholars: Science Technology and Society

UMD Engineering Alternative Spring Break - For spring break 2013, I traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi with other engineering students to build houses for a community that was recently devastated by severe weather. It was an awesome experience to work with other students and members of Habitat for Humanity as a team and to gain an understanding of various civic and social issues in this area. I definitely recommend this as a fun, fulfilling spring break trip! For more information, visit: http://www.ilp.umd.edu/leadership/asb.

UMD Engineering Study Abroad: Global Perspectives of Leadership in Engineering, Business and Technology - This winter, I traveled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, located in the United Arab Emirates, and Doha, Qatar. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I learned so much: from the study of global leadership and international business development, to middle eastern culture and practices. I got to visit many fascinating civil engineering projects that were advanced beyond my expectations. In Doha, we also participated in GOALS: Global Opportunities in Advancing Leadership Symposium with local students from Education City. It was an amazing experience and a great way to study abroad, if you cannot do so for a whole semester! For more information, visit: http://www.ilp.umd.edu/study-abroad.

Career Goals/Ambitions

I have a lot of ambitions and goals for the future. After working for a few years, I plan on attending graduate school to specialize in sustainability in civil systems and gain research experience in this field. I would also like to go abroad to do research. One place that I have in mind is the Masdar Institute of Technology in Abu Dhabi, UAE. After visiting this city, completely run on renewable energy, I know for a fact that I want to learn and research this up and coming field. I would also like to teach; whether that be as a professor or as a high school teacher, my future goal is to help others learn and understand concepts and to inspire students to major and pursue careers in STEM. On the side, I plan to manage my own freelance photography company and to teach fitness classes. Currently, I photograph various events and portraits. I also teach classes at Eppley Recreation Center. I love it and intend on continuing it in the future.

Internships/Research

Summer 2012: I worked at the Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) in Baltimore, MD. As an intern for the Office of Highway Development, I focused mainly on highway design and was given various project management responsibilities. This was my first internship and I found it very helpful for preparing for my future classes. I learned how to use different computer software for design, as well as compiling cost estimates and writing/editing reports. Overall, I learned so much from this experience and it allowed me to get a taste of what working as a civil engineer would be like.

Summer 2013: I worked at Jacobs Engineering in Baltimore, MD on various transportation projects. One of the major projects I worked on was the Purple Line Project, which is a proposed light rail line that will start in New Carrollton and end in Bethesda, improving connectivity between east and west Maryland. I found this project to be particularly interesting because the Purple light rail line is routed through the University of Maryland campus. This project really fueled my interest in public transit and designing mass transportation systems.

Favorite Aspect of Being an Engineer in the Clark School

What I've come to love about UMD and being at such a big school is that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Especially as an engineer in the Clark School, there are so many opportunities, organizations to join and chances to figure out what you're passionate about and take action. Furthermore, the community among fellow engineers is something that I am extremely grateful for - the support among us is so strong and has helped me so much along the way.