An EOE Success Story - Luis Galindo

Luis Galindo giving the hook 'em sign and standing on street lined with trees in fall foliage

Luis Galindo - EOE Success Story Fall 2015

At the University of British Columbia, Luis is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering while he works under the supervision of Steven Weijs. Fall of 2015 is his first semester as a graduate student, and during this time he is developing his thesis topic, which is focused around using hyperspectral imagery to identify pollutants in watersheds with applications in reducing nonpoint source pollution in stormwater runoff. In addition to his studies, Luis is busy working as a Teaching Assistant for a Hydrology course, expanding his network of colleagues, and attending conferences. Luis is well on his way to achieving his goal of completing a PhD program and eventually becoming a professor at a reputable university, but how did he get there?

The EOE Pipeline aims to help students to become a part of an exciting community that focuses on academic success and personal growth. From freshman initiatives like Fall Kick Off and First Year Interest Groups, to upperclassmen initiatives like TREX and CDL workshops, EOE helps students establish a strong academic foundation and promote the formation of a peer support network, and Luis Galindo is no exception. As he currently pursues graduate studies at UBC, Luis admits that much of his success at UT Austin “can be attributed to the EOE Pipeline.”

“I didn’t realize until my last year, but I had pretty much done everything EOE offered students…It’s evident that EOE knows what they are doing and the program provides ample amount of resources for students, it’s just a matter of taking initiative and trying to better yourself and others along the process.” – Luis Galindo

Luis first got involved with EOE as a freshman by joining the Strength in Numbers FIG. Throughout the rest of his time at UT Austin he went on to become a My Introduction to Engineering (MITE) camp counselor, a tutor and mentor for the Visionaries FIG, a participant in CDL, an office assistant in the EOE office, and an officer in both Pi Sigma Pi and SHPE. In the 2012-2013 academic year, he participated in EOE’s Texas Research Experience (TREX), and he describes the experience as his “pivotal point in wanting to pursue graduate studies”. He continued to be involved in research after TREX, and was also involved in Engineers without Borders, the McNair Scholars program, and the CAEE department.

“He was up for any challenge,” says Dawn Hunter, former supervisor and Recruitment Coordinator of the EOE program, “he was great at encouraging other students to get involved.” Throughout his involvement, Luis’ drive and enthusiasm inspired other EOE students. “His success is an empowering example that helps me strive to be the best I can be”, states Enrique Rodriguez, who was mentored by Luis and followed in his footsteps by becoming a McNair Scholar. When Brandon Comisarenco participated in the MITE camp during high school, Luis was his counselor, which helped inspire Brandon to eventually attend UT, get involved with EOE, and participate in TREX in 2014-2015. Brandon says that even now as “a graduate student 2000 miles away…[Luis] still serves as an inspiration for me to keep striving towards my best.”

As for his motivation, Luis attributes a lot to his family. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, he recognizes the many sacrifices his family made to get him where he is today, and he feels that “now it’s my turn to repay the deed.” When school gets difficult, Luis recommends maintaining a balance between school and life and taking breaks to relieve stress. “Go do something that you enjoy, anything”, says Luis, “Just take your mind off school for a bit.” For those pursuing graduate school, his best advice is to be proactive and find your own success. He emphasizes that “it’s not about who you know, but rather who knows you!”

“Be proactive. If you want something, go for it. Don’t wait around for someone to baby feed you everything, you’ll never get anywhere in life with that mentality.” – Luis Galindo