EPIC Staff

EPIC Team

Maria Manzano

EPIC Program Director

Photo of Maria Manzano

I have 18 years experience in higher education of which the last 12 have been with Cal Poly. I’m also an alumna from Cal Poly with a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration. I’m really excited to be able to work with you all and promote engineering. 

Valerie Kettering

Program Planner

Photo of Valerie Kettering

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I have always had a passion for air travel and airplanes. Paired with my love of science and math, aerospace engineering seemed like the perfect fit.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to meeting all of the wonderful campers and sharing my passion for both engineering and Cal Poly with them! EPIC is going to be amazing!

 

Fun Fact

I am a barista at Starbucks and a HUGE coffee lover.

Emma Stringer

Day Assistant Director

Photo of Emma Stringer

I'm a proud Cal Poly alumna with a B.S. in Liberal Studies and a Multiple-Subject Credential. I have 8 years of experience in supporting students in their learning. I am eagerly looking forward to sharing my love of learning and watching our campers' excitement for S.T.E.M. grow. I am passionate about hands-on education and I'm a teacher for Grover Beach Elementary, on the Central Coast of California! I can't wait to share my love for Cal Poly with everyone I meet ~ Ride High Mustangs! 

Julia List

Night Assistant Director

Photo of Julia List

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

When I was in middle school, my mom decided to get a medical device implanted to help manage her movement disorder. Watching the change that the device had was pure magic and I was amazed at what engineering could do for medicine. After that, choosing my major was a no-brainer because I knew that I wanted to help grant second chances, just like my mom was given.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I can’t wait to get to know the EPIC community, whether that be staff, counselors, or the campers. It will be amazing to hear fresh perspectives on engineering and watch the campers explore the discipline for the first time.

 

Fun fact

I went to a similar engineering exploration camp at the University of Washington during the summer of my junior year. It was such a fun experience and helped me ensure that I wanted to study engineering.

Alan Faz

Day Logistics Coordinator

Photo of Alan Faz

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Minor: Spanish and Ethnic Studies

 

Why did you choose your major?

As a kid, I would frequently look up to the sky and wonder if there was life out there. I would wonder what it was like to be in space and travel to other places.  I would also look up every time a plane would fly by and I made it my goal to know what kind of plane it was. I knew I had to pursue a career in the Aerospace field since its what I love and im good at math and science. 

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I really want to be able to pass on that passion that I have for engineering on to others. I believe there are so many areas of engineering you can pursue and I hope you can find that area during EPIC

 

Fun fact

I did EPIC back when I was a High School student and I was an EPIC Counselor last year. 

Madeline McKay

Day Logistics Coordinator

Photo of Madeline McKay

Major: Liberal Studies

 

Why did you choose your major?

I grew up with a single parent who was a teacher so I got to spend a lot of extra time at schools allowing me to see all the hard-work, dedication, and love teacher’s put into their work and the effects they have on kids. I want to spend my life inspiring students to be bravely empathetic, thoughtfully opinionated, troublingly curious, and genuinely confident in themselves and their education. Liberal Studies was the perfect major for that!

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

Through EPIC, I’m most looking forward to getting to meet kids from all over and connecting them with other kids their age who share their passions!

 

Fun fact 

A fun fact about me is that I volunteer at Woods Humane Society as an Educational Embassador so I get to take dogs into classes to teach kids about adopting and how to be kind to animals!

Karina Sandavol

Night Logistics Coordinator

Photo of Karina Sandavol

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Ever since I was little girl I knew I wanted to become some kind of engineer. My dad works at an aerodynamics company and he would always tell me about the projects they were building and inspecting. Initially I was going to major in aerospace engineering, but I chose mechanical instead because it's more broad. Also, my older brother is majoring in mechanical engineering and told me how great it is!

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I was a part of EPIC last year and one of my favorite things was seeing the campers working together and enjoying the labs/ projects. I'm definitely excited to meet all the campers and hopefully share my passion for engineering with them!

 

Fun fact

I went to a STEM based middle school that is sponsored by Edwards Air Force Base, so I was able to get an early hands on experience which sparked my interest for engineering.

Daniel Garcia

Head Day Counselor

Photo of Daniel Garcia

Major: Environmental Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose environmental engineering because I have a passion for problem solving and reducing the impact of nonrenewable resources. All my life I have wanted to make a sizable impact in my community. It took a while to figure out, but I believe environmental engineering is the way to this path.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I previously worked as a counselor and enjoyed the experience so much I wanted to come back and do it one final time before I start my job in the engineering industry.

 

Fun fact

I bowled competitively on the Cal Poly bowling team and I roller skate avidly to stay fit.

Ryan Salazar

Head Night Counselor

Photo of Ryan Salazar

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

When choosing my major, it was a super easy decision. Legos were the deciding factor for me, all the way back when I was in elementary school. I have know i wanted to attend Cal Poly and be a mechanical engineer since the age of 8. Having the knowledge and ability to build just about anything you can think of was probably the biggest draw that pulled me in the Mechanical direction.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

What I look forward to most this summer is feeling like part of a team again. Cal Poly programs do such a great job at being inclusive and making everyone feel welcome and it will be my pleasure to introduce so many campers to the motto and standards Cal Poly students hold true to their heart.


Fun fact

I once stayed up for 36 hours straight, and I played guitar hero for 20 of those hours just because I thought it would be a fun time. I was right.  

Jamison Nutting

Marketing Coordinator

Photo of Jamison Nutting

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose this major to combine my love of math and science with my desire to create. I've always loved working artistically and creativetly and biomedical engineering allows me to do this in a way that improves peoples lives. I hope to one day work for a prosthetic company, giving back to people who need prosthetic devices.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to connecting with my fellow staff, counselors, and campers! I also want to share my experiences with engineering at Cal Poly to break the stigma of what engineers are/do. We all have the potential to do something great in the world, and I want to campers to leve with that midset!

 

Fun fact

I used to be a competative dancer and danced in the thanksgiving day parade in New York!

Jeffrey Aparicio

Night Watch Assistant

Photo of Jeffrey Aparicio

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major? My question to everybody is who does not love space? Best action hero Buzz Lightyear, of course. The best space movies of all time are Independence Day, Armageddon and Space Jam. Also, when you need to be alone and away from everybody well guess what you need...SPACE. See what I did there.

Back to the question at hand, the reason I chose to be an Aerospace Engineering student is that I was inspired by my professor. I did not know what engineer field I wanted to pursue but with his guidance and support, I chose Aerospace. I remember sitting in my statics class and him telling me to challenge myself. The best rewards come from the most difficult paths a person takes. Right now I am sinking in Matlab but I have a great support system such as great classmates and professors that go above and beyond. I will leave you with this, the next time you see a rocket or plane, remember that your dreams are just an aircraft away. 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to inspiring the youth to pursue higher education and become future engineers. It is very difficult a young age to predict where you will be in the future without guidance. I want to be able to guide students to a career they will love it could be Aerospace or it could be business. I want to make sure they know that they are not alone and that we the EPIC program is here to help each and every student in their future careers. So let's go future engineers lets build a new world and our first destination is Cal Poly. 

Fun fact: Hmm… where do I start well last summer I worked with an advertising company called 3fold communications to promote higher education in the Sacramento Region. My picture and story was shared all over buses, google ads, newsletter and even in the movie theater. The following link is a commercial that promotes higher education and tells students why I chose to attend a community college. http://vimeo.com/233912721

Marcus Monroe

Activities Coordinator

Photo of Marcus Monroe

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to be a mechanical engineer because I have always loved learning how different things work and how they are made.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most excited to meet new people and have a great time at EPIC this summer!

 

Fun fact

I love Palm Trees

Cecilia Solorio

Safety Coordinator

Photo of Cecilia Solorio

Major: Business

 

Why did you choose your major?

I initially chose to study business in order to develop a wide range of skills and to have flexibility as to what industry I could later work in. I love the business curriculum and hope to put my knowledge in use by establishing my very own panaderia here in SLO someday soon.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am very excited to see EPIC in action this summer for the first time! From collaborating with counselors to meeting all the awesome future engineers, I am confident that this summer will be one to remember.

 

Fun fact

I enjoy volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and the Cal Poly Cat Shelter in my spare time.

Isaiah Abrea

Counselor

Photo of Isaiah Abrea

Why did you choose your major?

When I was in 6th grade, a software engineer from Google visited my class and talked about her job, which made me want to work for Google when I grew up. I learned how to code, and was amazed by all the possibilities of programming, as well as pleased at how logical it was. This vision has slightly changed over time, but I still enjoy coding and look forward to sharing my passion with others.

What are you looking forward to the most about working with EPIC?

I was a night counselor last year (shoutout to Real Teal) and it was so much fun to be able to work with everyone and make new friends. I’m looking forward to coming back and bonding with my campers and co-workers, and to make each week the best experience for everyone. I’m also looking forward to planning out spirit gear!

 

Fun Fact:

I like to draw and make music in my free time.

Yesenia Beas

Counselor

Photo of Yesenia Beas
Why did you choose your major?
Psychology is fascinating subject that helps you learn about yourself and others, by studying aspects of human behavior which help you in the everyday life. With the career path that I want to pursue (academic counselor) I have to have these skills in order to be an effective counselor. Overall, with psychology I can help others and help myself and at the same time gain valuable daily skills needed to succeed. 
 
What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?
I am really excited to be part of this amazing program for the first time. Yet, most importantly I am really eager to meet new people and help create a great summer experience for all the campers!! 
This summer will be one for the books! 
 
Fun fact
I have been dancing since I was 8 years old and I have a fascination for cactus.

Austin Berg

Counselor

Photo of Austin Berg

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Aerospace Engineering as my major because of my dad’s influence on me. My dad was a military pilot and is now a flight test pilot, so I’ve always been surrounded by airplanes and aviation. I doubt I’ll ever lose my interest and passion for airplanes (which are really just 40,000 individual parts stuck together and flying in unison).  Although Astronautical Engineering is interesting, I am concentrating in Aeronautics here at Cal Poly.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most looking forward to meeting campers and introducing them to some cool engineering! Some of the labs we’ll be doing in the summer will be very fun and I can’t wait to enjoy them with the campers!

 

Fun fact

I’ve lived in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, and South Carolina so I sometimes say “y’all” instead of “you guys.” Also, this is not my dog in this picture.

Jason Chapman

Counselor

Photo of Jason Chapman

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I honestly chose my major, Aerospace Engineering, because it was the first one on the list of majors for the college of engineering. However, after joining an Aerospace club, taking some Aerospace classes, and meeting other Aerospace Engineering students, I have fallen in love with my major. Now I can't imagine choosing any other major.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most looking forward to helping the kids with the engineering projects. I love building things, and I never had an opportunity to do something like this when I was younger. Thus, I am excited to be a part of it now, while also encouraging others to use some engineering techniques that they will learn.

 

Fun fact:

I have hiked the Grand Canyon four times.

Esmeralda Cruz

Counselor

Coming soon.

Page Dionne

Counselor

Photo of Page Dionne

Major: Environmental Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I've always had an aptitude for math and science and a tendency to ask complex questions and seek out answers. I believe engineers are the key to a more sustainable and brighter future. For these reasons, I pursued environmental engineering.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to meeting passionate campers who share similar interests to me and hopefully add to their excitement for engineering.

 

Fun fact

I've lived in four corners of the United States: Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, and California.

Keegan Divine

Counselor

Photo of Keegan Divine

Major: Software Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I love learning about new technologies and being able to create things with software is very fulfilling and exciting to do.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to getting to know all of my fellow camp counselors and meeting the campers who are excited to learn tons of new things throughout the camp.

 

Fun fact

I love to run and am currently training for a marathon!

Monroe Erle

Counselor

Photo of Monroe Erle

Major: Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose industrial engineering because I love engineering but liked how industrial included some aspects of the business world. Industrial engineering is all about efficiency; improving processes’ and helping others work together in a better way. I have a passion for building things and having the satisfaction of getting something to work, but I like that I am also gaining knowledge about how to improve the process of building those items.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am excited to meet all the campers and share with them the school that I love. I can’t wait to help inspire younger students to follow their passions and do what interests them!


Fun fact

One time I swam with thousands of stingrays!

Jackson Ernst

Counselor

Photo of Jackson Ernst

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to major in Aerospace Engineering both because I have always loved aviation and I want to be able to contribute my talents to a highly innovative industry.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most excited to help students discover their interests. I am also excited to share my knowledge and learn even more in the process of doing so.   

 

Fun fact

I landed an airplane for the first time when I was 12 years old.

Karina Galvan

Counselor

Photo of Karina Galvan

Major: Manufacturing Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Since I was really little I always was known as the “tech support” of my family, but honestly it was because I was the only one who actually enjoyed reading the owners/ instruction manuals. This love for technical knowledge and desire to know a little bit of everything therefore made me the one to help my dad or uncle in our home improvement projects. But I’ve always had a creative brain too (I wanted to be a cartoonist until age 8, and I still sew and paint in my spare time), so I always knew I’d be able to blend these two in some kind of engineering. 

To be honest when I was in the college app process, I didn’t really know what Industrial engineering was (which is what I started as). Some brief Google searches peaked my interest and since I knew I wanted engineering, I thought it was as good as any. Though I enjoyed much of the major, like ergonomics and process improvement, I realized the business part of the major were not my favorites. Here at Cal Poly Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering are grouped together as one department as they are similar in content, so after going to a couple career fairs, talking to department heads, and taking some more hands on major courses alongside Engineering 101 (a great class if you are like I was) I realized what I wanted to keep and see more of in a new major alongside  and more of what liked. Ultimately the desire to work in an environment where it was necessary to learn consistently and where my creative skills were valued came to light, and I felt confident to switch into Manufacturing engineering.


What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I’m so excited to being able to listen to all of your guys’ stories and experiences. Just as much as I hope you learn from your time here, I hope you will choose to open up and allow me to learn from you as well! And though I’m sure you understand I am there for you anyway I can be during our time together, going forward I also hope you will be able to see me as a resource for you whenever.

 

Fun fact  

I collect original keychains from different places around the world, and not just places I’ve been to. My current collection has about 15 different keychains ranging from places as far as Thailand, and as nearby as Mammoth Lakes and the University of La Verne’s library. No one ever believes me when I say all I want when they get back from their trip is a keychain though…

Austin Grassbaugh

Counselor

Photo of Austin Grassbaugh

Major: Computer Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I loved circuits when I learned it in high school, but I was unsure about what major to choose when applying to Cal Poly and eventually picked general engineering. After looking at all the majors I decided to switch into computer engineering because it combined both hardware and coding. I liked this because I like fast-paced learning and learning a variety of topics rather than being super specific.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm most excited to meet all the campers and help encourage them to pursue a degree in engineering. I think it'll be a great time for both campers and counselors!

 

Fun fact

I can name every Pokemon from the first generation

Jay Ingram

Counselor

Photo of Jay Ingram

Major: Materials Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I thought it sounded cool. It’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do yet. That’s what college is for!

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with future engineers.

 

Fun fact

I’ve performed in the holiday parade at Disneyland 3 times.

Josephine Isaacson

Counselor

Photo of Josephine Isaacson

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose mechanical engineering because I love building and designing. I also want to work on robots in the future and mechanical engineering opens me up to so many different options in robotics and other fields.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I’m really looking forward to getting to know and encourage young people interested in engineering!

 

Fun fact

I really love to sew and knit.

Eva Kouyate

Counselor

Photo of Eva Kouyate

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

First of all, I wanted to study engineering because I love math and science and I love solving problems to better people's life. With engineering, I get to do both; solve problems using math and science. I specifically chose mechanical engineering because I believe it is a multi-skill major. I get to learn more about mathematics, physics, structures, computer application, electricity and many more.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I went to a similar camp as EPIC when I was in High School. It was an incredible experience and it reinforced my desire to pursue engineering in college. Furthermore, my counselors inspired and encouraged me in this direction. I learnt a lot about what being an engineering student actually looks like. I want to do the same with the campers at EPIC. I am very excited to share my love for engineering with them and show them what it actually looks like to study engineering.

 

Fun fact

I love travelling! I have been to 12 countries and one of my favorite thing when I travel to those countries is to discover the different dances each culture has. I love the fact that dance is so international.

Melissa Kurani

Counselor

Coming soon.

Andrew Lee

Counselor

Photo of Andrew Lee

I chose my major because I care about the environment and want to create to make the world a better place.

 
I am looking forward to making an impact on the future generation in a positive way.
 
Fun fact: I play guitar, basketball, and the trumpet. (Not all at the same time though) 

Gabriel Leonides

Counselor

Photo of Gabriel Leonides

Why did you choose your major?

 
I took a robotics class in high school and loved it. The possibilities available with circuits are endless, and I liked that circuits can be applied to a lot of different things.
 
What are you looking forward to most about working for EPIC?
 
I am looking forward to helping campers with individual questions or concerns such as high school, college, extracurriculars, etc. I was a cou selor last year, and many counselors said I made a lasting impression on them, so I hope to do the same this year. 
 
Fun fact:
 
I broke my finger playing football

Aaron Li

Counselor

Photo of Aaron Li

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose this major because as a kid (like many other kids) I wanted to fly a fighter jet, but I was never able to achieve that dream, and so I chose to build them instead.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I really enjoy working with kids, as well as with people my own age, and being able to do both of these along with working with the great professors at Cal Poly and inspire people with engineering hopes seemed like an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

 

Fun fact

I am currently leading a club in their attempt to reach the world record set by a gravity powered vehicle, and we hope to perform our record run in Fall 2020.

David Lopez

Counselor

Photo of David Lopez

Major: Civil Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major so that I can build infrastructure for people!

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to working with my campers and to have a good time.

 

Fun fact

A fun fact about myself is that I have been getting quite good at cooking this past year.

Judith Lopez

Counselor

Photo of Judith Lopez

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Mechanical Engineering because I was always interested in the way things moved. I like figuring out why things work the way they do (especially engines and turbines). What is great about this major is that it can be very diverse. I can learn about CAD design, structures, and electrical components.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to helping campers learn various engineering skills.

 

Fun fact

I can write backward!

Kevin Lu

Counselor

Photo of Kevin Lu

Major: Materials Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to major in materials engineering because I am interested in what makes up the world around. In particular, I enjoy exploring what causes the properties, processing, and performance to differ between samples of the same material.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I hope to explore engineering problems like this with EPIC this summer.

 

Fun fact

A fun fact about me is that I've never broken a bone.

Alexa Marquez

Counselor

Photo of Alexa Marquez

Major: Aerospace Engineering


Why did you choose your major? 

I chose aerospace engineering on a whim. Airplanes have always been really cool to me, but aerospace isn't just airplanes. I didn't know if I'd be able to handle it, or even enjoy it.

However, as of now I definitely love my major! I hope in the future to get my pilot's license (when I have the money) and gain amazing experience with aerospace companies. Everything in the industry, from rocket launches to hypersonic flight, fascinates me.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

As a returner, I remember last year seeing the teamwork between campers when participating in competitions. I look forward to seeing their engagement and excitement when partaking in the engineering-related tasks. There was a lot of creativity and competitiveness involved so I can't wait to see what campers will come up with.

 

Fun fact 

I chipped both my front teeth from attempting to climb up a water slide.

Melissa Martinez

Counselor

Photo of Melissa Martinez

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major after being a part of the UCLA Pre-College Science Education Program (PCSEP). PCSEP allowed me to work hands on and directly with scientists and professors, run experiments, and research published studies all to figure out a way to "Accelerate the Wound Healing Process". This experience combined with my already love for math and science led me to discover biomedical engineering where I could help others.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

What I'm looking forward most to about working with EPIC is meeting all the students that come from similar backgrounds as I and showing them that they can become engineers and limits placed on them by society should not be acknowledged. I want to ensure that as a camp counselor I make sure these students know how capable they are of great things.

 

Fun fact

A fun fact about me is that my middle name is Finesse. Most people my age don't believe that until I explain my dad chose it and even sometimes I have to show them official proof.

 

Samantha Merigold

Counselor

Photo of Samantha Merigold
I've always loved math and science, and my favorite parts about school were problem solving and figuring out how stuff works. I chose my major because I really enjoyed chemistry in high school and materials engineering uses a lot of that.  Materials engineering is super cool because you get to change materials' properties to get them to act how you need them to.  
 
I was a camper at EPIC in 2015 and that was the first time I really understood what engineering was and how cool it is.  I had an a-ha moment where I realized this was exactly what I wanted to be doing, and I am looking forward to helping my campers have the same realization about how awesome engineering can be.  
 
Fun fact:
I have purple hair and I enjoy hammocking in my free time! 

Sabrina Nelson

Counselor

Photo of Sabrina Nelson
Why did you choose your major?
I always knew I wanted to be an engineer because I loved math and science but I had no idea what type of engineering was right for me. It wasn't until I did EPIC that I had even heard of Biomedical Engineering, but after I did a few of the labs at EPIC, I knew BMED was the perfect fit for me. 
 
What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?
I can't wait to meet my campers and show them why I love engineering and how great Cal Poly is!

Fun fact
I was an EPIC counselor last summer and a camper in 2015.
 
 
 
 

Jordan Perlas

Counselor

Photo of Jordan Perlas

Major: Electrical Engineering 

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Electrical Engineering because it was something my dad and I would do together when I was little. It's also a way for me to help the environment.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to meeting all the campers and doing all the fun things we have in store for them.

 

Fun fact  

I was part of an international dance organization, and I was on Disney Channel once.

Emily Qi

Counselor

Photo of Emily Qi

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Biomedical Engineering is essentially the bridge between medicine and engineering, and I thought it was so cool that I could have the ability to improve people’s lives. I attended a biomedical engineering summer camp in high school, and that was when I decided that this was the major for me.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences at Cal Poly, and I’m so excited to meet everyone!


Fun fact

I play the marimba, and I competed at the percussion World Championships in Ohio with my high school drumline in 2017 and 2018!

Abhishu Rawka

Counselor

Photo of Abhishu Rawka

Major: Computer Science

 

Why did you choose your major?

I liked all my coding classes in high school and the fact that pretty much everything we do these days is somehow related to computers or code fascinated me and made me want to explore this major.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am really looking forward to working at EPIC so I can show prospective middle and high schoolers why Engineering is an awesome career path! I am also excited to get to know everyone from students to counselors!

 

Fun fact

I'm an international student all the way from Mumbai!!

Amanda Robinson

Counselor

Photo of Amanda Robinson

Major: Industrial Engineering


Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I love to organize things and make them work better. I also love that industrial engineering combines math/science and people, allowing me to use my engineering skills to help technology and people work together.


What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to helping campers develop an interest in STEM and learn about the fun possibilities engineering has to offer. I am also excited that I have the opportunity to learn more about the different engineering fields alongside the campers.


Fun fact

I spend most of my free time baking and my most prized possession is my KitchenAid stand mixer.

Nicky Rodriguez

Counselor

Photo of Nicky Rodriguez

Major: Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I actually first heard of industrial engineering as a camper at EPIC. I then chose it as my major because it fits my personality well as I am constantly trying to optimize my time and make my tasks more efficient.  

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most looking forward to building relationships with campers and helping them to figure out what they want to do for a career.  

 

Fun fact

I was a camper at EPIC myself!

Angelica Romero

Counselor

Photo of Angelica Romero
I chose Electrical engineering for my major due to my experience through my high school robotics team. I realized I enjoyed the details in wiring, and I became intrigued with the physics behind circuits.
 
I'm looking forward to meeting all the students. I love inspiring and helping my younger peers to become more interested and invested in the engineering field. 
 

Alicia Sisco

Counselor

Photo of Alicia Sisco

Major: Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to be an Industrial Engineering major because i thought it fit my interests and skills.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm most looking forward to meeting new faces and helping them further explore their interests in engineering.

 

Fun fact

I voluntarily jumped out of a plane at 1300 feet.

Jack Surdyk

Counselor

Photo of Jack Surdyk

I choose Industrial Engineering because I loved the idea of applying engineering methods and logic to optimize real world problems, rather than designing them. At the same time, IE has more of a human/personal aspect to it that I found intriguing.

The thing that I’m looking most forward to about working at EPIC is the new relationships that I am bound to make with my campers, coworkers, and professors.

A fun fact about me is that I have been to 43 of the 50 states in the U.S.!

Julio Tena

Counselor

Photo of Julio Tena

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

With magic things can appear out of nothing, or so it seems like it. I initially thought of wireless communications as magic. The idea that an invisible wave is propagating through space, with your information, made me crave a deeper understanding of how it all really works. That is why I chose Electrical Engineering. By studying Electrical Engineering, I am able to understand physical phenomena that drive most of today’s technological advances. In essence, some aspects of EE impact most, if not all, of humanity. It is my goal to contribute and create technologies that will help others in meaningful ways.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am a true believer of learn by doing and with the help of my peers and other staff, I know we can make a meaningful impact on the participants and demonstrate what Cal Poly has to offer. I also look forward to providing motivation and support as well as sharing my enthusiasm for engineering.

 

Fun fact

I was an intern for a former astronaut and I got to design a circuit that flew above 80,000 feet on a high altitude balloon.

Summer Tietje

Counselor

Photo of Summer Tietje
Why did you choose your major:
I chose my major because I knew I wanted to go into STEM, so I combined that with my passion for space travel and went into aerospace engineering. 
 
What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?
I am looking forward to getting to know students and helping them gain hands-on experience to show them just how amazing engineering is. 
 
Fun Fact:
I really enjoy traveling and my favorite place I’ve been to so far is Croatia. 

Maetja Verbarendse

Counselor

Photo of Maetja Verbarendse

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I am on a pre-med track and wanted to study something that incorporates medicine and medical applications with the hands on creativity of engineering.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I look forward to hanging out with all the campers and showing them how fun and exciting engineering can be!

 

Fun fact

I can fall asleep in 4 minutes.

Theresa Wilcoski

Counselor

Photo of Theresa Wilcoski
Why did you choose your major?
 
I chose Industrial Engineering because I enjoy making things more efficient and it is a versatile degree.
 
What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?
Meeting and getting to know all my campers! I was a counselor last year too and the best part of camp was seeing the friendships develop within my group. Sunday everyone is kinda awkward and shy but by Friday it's like a big camp family! 
 
Fun fact
When EPIC starts I will just have finished a 6-month internship with E&J Gallo Winery as a Supply Chain Logistics Intern. 

Jeffrey Yin

Counselor

Photo of Jeffrey  Yin

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Electrical Engineering because of how intrigued I was with the power and electricity aspects of life and how much I wanted to get hands on experience. My high school physics teacher also motivated me to go this route and i hope to be that motivation to some of the kids.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most looking forward to meeting new kids that are following the same passion as me and just getting to be their mentor for a month.

 

Fun fact

I have knock off AirPods that are much cheaper than regular AirPods.

Kiran Khalid

Counselor

Photo of Kiran Khalid

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to pursue a degree in Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering because I want to help support and improve agricultural processes around the world. I would like to work with irrigation, so I can help ensure that farmers and people have access to clean water. As a child, I wanted to become a farmer because I liked the idea of working with food and water. In the future, I hope to empower first-generation engineering students to use their skills to preserve the environment.

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I’m looking forward to working at EPIC because I want the opportunity to support students pursuing engineering. I was fortunate enough to attend a high school with a Project Lead the Way Engineering program run by an amazing instructor. He inspired me and believed I could pursue my passion for STEM. He was a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. I am excited to give back to my community at Cal Poly by being a mentor for the next generation of engineers.

Fun fact

English is my fourth language.

Maria Mejia

Counselor

Coming soon.

Guadalupe Zepeda

Counselor

Photo of Guadalupe Zepeda
I choose Biomedical Engineering because I noticed how it applied various aspects of STEM and the many different routes I can take with the degree. I looooooove biology and aspects of mechanical design so BMED has been the perfect fit for me. Plus who wouldn't want to say they designed something that can make someone's quality of life better?!
 
I am looking forward to actually being a Night Counselor this year! Also, I'm excited to share my compassion for engineering with all the campers and I hope they all have a good experience at EPIC.
 
Fun fact: I am missing 2 knuckles