Wentcher Spotlight (8)

Wentcher Professional Development: Engineering Panel

On March 22nd,  The Wentcher Foundation will be hosting our next professional development workshop, an Alumni-led virtual panel discussing the engineering field. Wentcher Scholars will hear from alumni in different engineering professions and hear different perspectives on transitioning from college to the professional world.


Wentcher Alumni Vera Demchenko and Jonathan Diaz will answer moderated questions from Alumna and Program Associate Nia Harris. They will also answer questions from current scholars and give advice.


Vera currently works as a Systems Test and Verification Engineer on the Lockheed Martin’s Orion Program. In 2019, she completed her Astrophysics BA at University of Colorado Boulder. Vera is a Class of 2019 Brooke Owens Fellow, a young professional mentor for the Zed Factor Fellowship and Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, and an active member of Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). She is passionate about commercial space programs and space sustainability. Previously, Vera has interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as the Outreach Coordinator and has worked as a Public Presenter at the Fiske Planetarium. She encourages young people from all backgrounds to pursue their professional development goals and takes great pleasure in being a mentor for the next generation. Vera’s goal is to be an Aerospace Business  Development leader.


To learn more about Vera, you can find her Wentcher Blog Spotlight here.


Jonathan Diaz currentlyworks in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 2020, he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. During his time at UIC Jonathan participated in several clubs/organizations such as the American Society of Engineers (ASCE), and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Also, during his time at UIC he worked as a Research Lab Assistant in the Environmental Engineering Lab. Jonathan has held internships at IFF as a Project Engineer, SEECO Consultants as a Civil Engineer, and UIC’s Energy Resource Center as an Engineer. In addition to working in the Army Corps, Jonathan is currently studying for his Professional Engineering License and he plans on going back to school to get his Master’s in Environmental Engineering.


To learn more about Jonathan, you can find his Wentcher Blog Spotlight here.


Wentcher Scholars can RSVP for the workshop here.

Picture of Author: Nia Harris

Author: Nia Harris

Nia Harris is a NYU graduate and Fulbright Scholar working for the Wentcher Foundation as the Program Associate.

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