Emi Szabo (IntDesEngr'23) was recognized with a Community Impact Award by the College of Engineering and Applied Science for improving their department and the college by providing excellent service and dedication to both Integrated Design Engineering and the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering (CEAE).
Szabo was surprised by the nomination. "I only did what I thought was important and needed to be done," they said.
Szabo was an office assistant for CEAE where they wrote a student employee manual, completely reorganized the office both digitally and physically, and assisted the department finance team with a complete overhaul of their previous, outdated system, among other tasks.
In addition to their work as an office assistant for CEAE, they were a teaching assistant for professor Dan Godrick who was teaching Statics for Engineers. Statics is applying physics to materials to understand how they can deform and fail.
Assisting across semesters, Szabo said they were able to feel the growth not only in the students, but also themself as a TA and the course itself.
Szabo was also a part of two community improving committees: CEAE's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee and IDE's community focus group. Through these opportunities, Szabo said they were able to offer insight and bring up issues.
Szabo also became involved in research as an undergraduate, working in three research projects. They did research for CU Boulder’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities, became a Head of Experimental Design for the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program.
They are currently working for the Construction Safety Research Alliance (CSRA) to find ways to minimize serious injuries and fatalities on construction sites and are starting a fully-funded master's degree in Civil Engineering with the CSRA over the summer.
Advice from Emi
You have to believe in yourself and believe that you deserve what you want to achieve. So often, people will decide to not apply for something because they don’t think they’re qualified, but just as often if they would have decided to apply, they’d get it. People chronically undervalue themselves not only to the detriment of themselves, but to the detriment of others whose lives would have been improved had that person believed in themselves enough to get to where they were meant to be.
To a future student, I say: Don’t undervalue yourself. You are what the future needs. Someone once told me “You represent the hope of this world,” and when she told me that I shook my head and said that she was crazy, but she was right. About me and about you, Future Student, and the sooner you recognize the value you hold and the impact you have, the farther you’ll go. So don’t undercut your actions and contributions. Don’t count yourself out before you’ve even tried. Because you will succeed.