Chemical engineering master’s candidate Hector Nuno is one of four top graduates who will be honored by Interim President Don W. Kassing at the university’s commencement ceremony later this month at Spartan Stadium. Hector, one of two outstanding thesis awardees being honored, has been recognized for the exceptional quality of his research thesis.
When asked how this honor impacts him, Hector replies, “I feel greatly honored because I want to be a role model for my family, especially the younger members. If I can inspire my 11-year-old son and 15 nieces and nephews to reach their educational goals – and have an opportunity to do better than me, I’m a happy man.
“Besides that, I’m feeling a strong sense of accomplishment,” Hector continues, “because raising a family, working while going to school, doing research and volunteering in the community, was not easy. It took a lot of sacrifice. I planted a lot of seeds with a lot of effort, and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits.”
Hector notes that he has had a lot of support along the way. He is especially grateful for the many faculty members who have supported and inspired him, including Professor Melanie McNeil, chemical and materials engineering, who guided him as a grad student and was instrumental in introducing him to IBM where he conducted his research.
As for his career goals, Hector dreams of becoming a teacher someday. “For the last few years,” he says, “I have volunteered for California Community Partners for Youth, a program for at-risk high school youth. This program has motivated me to eventually pursue a teaching career – either with high school or community college kids. First, however, I want to work in industry for a biotech company, so I can polish my skills.”