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  • Angelica Luquin

Rising PhD Candidate

Look out for this badass lady!


From first glance Jessica Crisantes seems just like any other college student. A mixture of typical coolness and calmness of a young adult, and some mixture of a fun free carrying personality. What stood out the most to me however was her determination and undeniable motivation of her future in the world of academia. “I want to get my PhD; I want to work for a company and still have my own research on the side with them. Aid the edge of an exploration untouched.” Throughout the entire interview of Jessica. This information she told stood out to me the most. Not because of how impressive it is for an undergraduate to say, but because I believed her.

At the time of this interview Jessica had only been in the club for five months and already was a threat to be reckoned with. She was a valuable member to the avionics subsection in the Beach Launch Team by being able to understand the electrical ground support equipment well. When talking about how she became involved with the team she mentions it was over the summer. She was working on Aerospace Corporation project that was ending in December and during her breaks would come by to the rocket lab to see what was going on. She mentions that working mostly with computer science in the avionics team has had it challenges as the material is new to her. “I have to do a lot of self-taught.” Even though the material can be challenging it is fair to say that no one would put up with it, if they were not having fun. Which is exactly what Jessica inferred shortly after. The club to her has been an all-inclusive learning environment where leads who are responsible for their subsystem, teach members in the club like Jessica. In return, Jessica will now be able to teach new members who will soon carry on the torch to others. This is something that separates the club. Having the patience and willingness to educate others on your work and communicating new ideas is what all engineering students crave for.

Jessica is not only involved in research or the Beach Launch Team, however. She is also a lead for another competition hosted by NASA (yes, that NASA) where it is designed to mimic the requirements on the planet Mars. The gist of the competition is that a team needs to build a robot that will collect samples on the red planet. Piling this on the typical curriculum of a full – time engineering student, I asked Jessica how she manages to find time for everything. “I played softball growing up. That has helped me be disciplined. I set my priorities and stay focused on them.” Props!

When I asked her about what her goal for the team was, she said that she would not want the progress to stop. “The team is constantly changing.” Something else she also appreciates from the club is the fact that it is “100% student made”. From coming up to the ideas, research, and even the manufacturing. All the credit goes to the students.

Closing the interview, I got to learn quite a bit about Jessica. And I know soon the aerospace world will too. She is defiantly one to look out for!




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