Started in 2012, the Engineering Student Ambassador (ESA) program was developed to increase recruitment and retention at the UHM College of Engineering. ESAs are undergraduate students trained to engage in STEM outreach to K-12 students and work with industry partners by planning and coordinating events throughout the year. This program provides our ESAs valuable public speaking and leadership training as they pursue a career in engineering, and sparks excitement about our college – and the field of engineering at large – with Hawaiʻiʻs youth.


Quinn Bianchi-Lawson

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Quinn Bianchi-Lawson

Major: Computer Engineering

Year in Program: I’m in my fifth year of college, with Junior standing.

Hometown: I spent most of my youth in Philadelphia, PA. I moved all around the east coast starting in my 10th grade year. I even spent part of my 8 th grade in Switzerland when my mom got a job opportunity with the World Health Organization.

High School: I went to four different high schools, each in a separate state and ended up graduating from Broad Run High School in Virginia.

When and how you decided to become an Engineering major: Originally I thought I would follow in my mom’s footsteps and become a doctor, so I spent a year in a pre-med track. However, after some time I realized my interests were in an area that focused more on math and physics, and their applications in
computers.

Why you selected UH: My mom has lived in Kauaʻi now for a while, and she’s always been eager to have me closer to her. When I decided to tour the college, I realized how great the engineering department is, and the whole college in general. Out of all the colleges on my list, UH stood out as the best choice for me, so when I got the acceptance letter I decided to attend.

What you do for fun, and any extracurricular activities: When I’m in an active mood I like to go for a run, or hike one of our beautiful trails. If it’s a stay-at-home kind of day, and I’m not studying or doing homework, you can generally find me either reading a book or playing video games.

What you enjoy most about your program/the college: I enjoy the rewarding feeling you get when you solve a complex math or coding problem. I always thought it seemed a bit off to enjoy something difficult like math, but the feeling I get when I’m able to easily understand something that seemed so incomprehensible is my favorite.

Any advice to incoming/prospective students: The most important thing you can do for yourself in any new environment is get yourself out there. Get past your anxieties as best you can and meet people who share your interests, who can help you through the rough parts of your degree. Especially in engineering there will be rough parts, but if you have friends to help and you stay ahead of everything you can get through it.


Mallory Hataishi

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Mallory Hataishi

Major: Civil Engineering

Year in Program: Junior

Hometown: Kapolei, Hawaiʻi

High School: Kamehameha Kapālama High School

When and how you decided to become an Engineering major: I decided the summer before starting college to do engineering. I was undeclared coming in, so I was getting anxious on what to study and decided to do engineering. I was good at math in high school, and I knew that I would be able to get a great career when I graduate.

Why you selected UH: I originally wanted to go away but due to financial reasons, I stayed home.

What you do for fun, and any extracurricular activities: Currently I am in a few clubs/programs, such as NHSEMP, Chi Epsilon, AISES, and ASCE. I recently took up jiu-jitsu, which has been a great way to release my stress.

What you enjoy most about your program/the college: I enjoy the labs that we take as a part of our coursework. There is a wide variety of labs, which give us a little taste of parts of civil.

Any advice to incoming/prospective students: Be comfortable being uncomfortable.


Adam Hu

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Adam Hu

Major: Electrical Engineering

Year in Program: Sophomore

Hometown: Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi

High School: Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy

When and how you decided to become an Engineering major: I decided that I wanted to become an Engineering major about halfway through high school. I do well in math and science and enjoy problem-solving and making things, so engineering seemed like a good choice for me.

Why you selected UH: I chose UH after attending the College of Engineering’s Open House. I was impressed by their labs, and it seemed that I would receive a solid education at UH.

What you do for fun, and any extracurricular activities: In my free time, I like to play my guitar and write songs, go to the beach, play video games, and read.

What you enjoy most about your program/the college: I enjoy the opportunity to participate in the VIP program and get involved in an engineering project.

Any advice to incoming/prospective students: Take advantage of all the advising opportunities provided to you by the college. It can be confusing at first to know what classes you need to fulfill your major, so having a guide can be quite helpful.


Creselle Morales

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Creselle Morales

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Year in Program: Junior

Hometown: Wailuku, Hawaiʻi

High School: HP Baldwin High School

When and how you decided to become an Engineering major: In senior year of high school, I was interested in either Nursing or engineering so for my senior project I decided to do a project on 3D printing prosthetic arms. The engineering side interested me more so that is what pushed me to do mechanical engineering.

Why you selected UH: UH offered all the classes that I needed to get my degree while also offering a quality education. I also received a scholarship here so it made the most sense to come here.

What you do for fun, and any extracurricular activities: I usually eat with friends or go out with friends. If not then I like to hang out alone; go to sleep, go on my computer, or play switch.

What you enjoy most about your program/the college: I like the different topics that are covered in the course, it lets me see different sides of mechanical engineering. I also like the projects that are offered to mechanical engineers and how we work with other majors.

Any advice to incoming/prospective students: Develop good time management skills, free time does not really exist in college because you can always fill in that time with studying and/or doing homework so you are not stressed and behind in classes.


Lyndsey Tagawa

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Lyndsey Tagawa

Major: Civil Engineering

Year in Program: Junior

Hometown: Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi

High School: Castle High School

When and how you decided to become an Engineering major: Being a part of the UH High School Summer Internship Program in 2016 had helped me see what engineering has to offer, which helped me make the decision to become and Engineering major.

Why you selected UH: I chose UH because I knew that I wanted to live here and work here when graduated. From being a part of the UH internship program, I learned that a lot of companies like to hire out of UH, so the decision was a no brainer.

What you do for fun, and any extracurricular activities: Soccer, Surfing, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

What you enjoy most about your program/the college: Being a part of the college of engineering allows me to meet all types of new people and make friends

Any advice to incoming/prospective students: Joining clubs and immersing yourself into the college can provide a lot of great opportunities.


Christianne Young

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Christianne Young

Major: Computer Engineering

Year in Program: Sophomore

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

High School: Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy

When and how you decided to become an Engineering major: Math and science were my favorite courses in high school, so I knew that I wanted to pursue a STEM major. My interest in the constant innovation of technology helped me decide on studying engineering. I enjoyed programming and computer engineering allowed me to gain knowledge in both software and hardware development and design.

Why you selected UH: UH was the most cost effective option for me, and receiving a scholarship to the university gave me the ability to pay for my education independently.

What you do for fun, and any extracurricular activities: I like watercolor painting, baking, and spending time with friends and family in my free time.

What you enjoy most about your program/the college: The coursework challenges and encourages me to excel in my classes. I am able to relate the concepts I learn in class to real world situations, making me eager to learn and expand on topics from my courses. The faculty advisors are there to help me succeed and to work with me in figuring out the best paths to achieve my goals.

Any advice to incoming/prospective students: Push the limits of your comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. Allowing yourself to grow in unfamiliar situations is rewarding.


Former ESAs