STCC student Lineisha Rosario has been named one of the state Department of Higher Education’s “29 Who Shine,” a program that recognizes one outstanding graduating student from each public college and university in Massachusetts.
Rosario, of Agawam, and her faculty mentor, physics professor Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh, represented STCC during a ceremony on May 4 at the State House in Boston. Rosario is a member of the Society of Women Engineers Chapter at STCC, and McGinnis-Cavanaugh serves as faculty advisor to the SWE STCC chapter.
Each year, the state honors outstanding students who show promise as future leaders and demonstrate a strong record of academic achievement. Students also are chosen based on their intent to pursue a career in a field where there is a demonstrated need in Massachusetts, among other criteria.
Rosario, who in May earned an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology, has excelled not only in the classroom, but also in her internship with a software company in Connecticut. She remains passionate about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“I have always been interested in how things made,” Rosario said. “When I was a child in Puerto Rico, I used to enjoy spending time with my father while he worked on cars. I wanted to know how things like cars were created.”
“We are thrilled to recognize Lineisha, and having sat with her, I know she represents all of the unique talents of our students – and in a critical STEM field,” said STCC President John B. Cook.
McGinnis-Cavanaugh and Gary Masciadrelli, professor and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at STCC, submitted Rosario’s name for the award.
“Lineisha is very dedicated to the MET profession,” Masciadrelli said. “In the MET courses, she consistently submits excellent work. She has shown the ability to balance work and college, and I am confident she will have a successful career in manufacturing engineering.”
McGinnis-Cavanaugh added: “Lineisha is an advocate for women in engineering and community colleges and serves as a mentor to members of STCC SWE. She embodies the community college mission. Her story is compelling, and she has excelled in spite of challenges and obligations that might deter others. Her potential is limitless, and I look forward to the contributions she’ll make as an engineer.”
As a member of STCC SWE, Rosario attended the organization’s annual conferences in both Philadelphia and Austin, Texas. With SWE, she worked with McGinnis-Cavanaugh to produce a series of video profiles about community college women in engineering.
Passionate about inspiring girls to major in engineering, Rosario will continue to volunteer her time with STCC SWE after graduation. She hopes to work full-time while she pursues a bachelor’s degree in advanced manufacturing systems on site at STCC through the college’s new partnership with Northeastern University.
“As I keep growing as a mechanical engineer, I realize there is so much more to learn as the doors in the world of engineering open for me,” Rosario said. “Not only do I want to keep growing professionally, I also want to keep encouraging other women to become engineers.”
Rosario and her family left Puerto Rico in 2015 and settled in Agawam, where she finished high school and then applied to STCC. She attended STCC’s STEM Starter Academy, a summer program for new students interested in science, technology, engineering and math.
Her curiosity about machines, and experience with the STEM Starter Academy, proved to be a good match with STCC’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Program.
When she receives her associate degree at STCC commencement on May 31, she will become the first member of her family to graduate from college.
Rosario plans to bring her parents and younger brother to the “29 Who Shine” ceremony, where Gov. Charlie Baker will honor her and the 28 other students.
“One of my biggest passions is to share my story with women who need encouragement to continue their pursuit of an engineering education and career,” Rosario said. “I also want to tell the elementary and middle school girls who, like me, are curious about how things are made and how they work, that in the 21st century women will be engineering the world.”