Some features of this site are not compatible with older versions of Internet Explorer. Upgrade your browser or install Google Chrome Frame to better experience this site.

Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship Recipients

The NCSEA Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship was established by the NCSEA Foundation in 2021 to award funding to students who have been traditionally underrepresented in structural engineering (including but not limited to Black/African Americans, Native/Indigenous Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and other people of color, those with disabilities and LGBTQIA+). Multiple scholarships are presented annually to junior college students, undergraduate students, and/or graduate students pursuing degrees in structural engineering. 


Learn about Endowed & Named Scholarship Opportunities


Congratulations to the 2023 Scholarship Recipients


Meet the Future of Structural Engineering!


For this year’s awards, three structural engineering firms, one structural engineering family, and two structural engineers’ associations have generously provided funds to create even more opportunities for aspiring structural engineers in the form of named scholarships. More than 100 scholarship applications were received this year from across the country. After a thorough review of all applicants, the NCSEA Foundation awarded ten scholarships, including four first-ever partner scholarships in the program.

Below is a list of the 2023 winners representing $34,500 awarded by the NCSEA Foundation.


SEAONC Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Valeria Martinez
University of the Pacific

Valeria Martinez is a fourth-year civil engineering student who works full-time to be able to fund her education. She loves designing structures and would like to become a structural engineer. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she would like to continue her education and obtain a master’s degree focused on structural engineering. In her free time, she enjoys being a home chef, making her own creations with a fusion of different flavors.





The Applied Technology Council Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Kelly Espino
University of California - Los Angeles

Kelly Espino is originally from Oxnard, California, a first-gen Latina receiving her bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering and returning in the fall term for her master's in structural engineering. During her time at UCLA, she was accepted into the UCLA Center for Excellence in Engineering Diversity program, awarded academic dean's honors, and attained internships at multiple companies. She has served as outreach director and two-time president of the Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists, SOLES|SHPE at UCLA, the number one SHPE chapter in the nation. Her passion for giving back to the community and being a leader has outlined her goals of helping serve diverse and Latinx communities by leading in SHPE on a national scale, becoming a certified engineer, designing structurally safe and important buildings, and being an outlet and role model for not only her family but the community at large. 




The Degenkolb Engineers Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship 

Jerry Tran

University of California - Irvine

Jerry Tran is a 22-year-old Asian American who aspires to be a civil engineer. He was born and raised in Southern California. Jerry enjoys working and coordinating with others, regardless of if it is work-related or hobby-related. His hobbies include watching basketball and competing in sports.




The Martin/Martin Skyrise Scholarship

Wayne Carter
University of Missouri

Wayne Carter is currently a senior studying civil engineering at the University of Missouri. He is the current president of the ASCE Student Chapter on campus, continuing to lead the organization back to pre-Covid levels. Wayne plans to be at the forefront of helping lead and design fully nature-integrated cities by combining the latest technology with innovative design.




The Steven B. Tipping Memorial Scholarship for Innovation and Excellence in Structural Engineering

Ivan Alvarez Lopez
University of California - Berkeley

Ivan Alvarez Lopez grew up in the construction industry. His uncles, who worked as rebar union workers, had a significant influence on his upbringing. As a young child, they would tell him stories of the projects they worked on. Ivan hopes to work on a diverse set of projects that benefit communities all across the Bay Area and to one day share his own stories to motivate others to explore a STEM-related career.



SEA-MW Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Erick Hernandez-Centeno
Morgan State University

Erick Hernandez-Centeno is passionate about the field of structural engineering and is committed to continuing his education and professional development. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in structural engineering after completing his bachelor's degree and is exploring opportunities to gain further experience in the field through research and internships.



NCSEA Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Isabella Bernard
The Catholic University of America

Isabella Bernard is an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, pursuing a five-year dual degree program in civil engineering and architecture with a minor in sustainability. She has gained professional experience in the Washington DC area, working at construction and architecture firms of varying sizes. As a student, Isabella holds leadership roles and participates in several student organizations on her university's campus, including president of The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), secretary of The American Institute of Architect Students (AIAS), and upperclassmen representative of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Focused on a career path in the structural engineering field, Isabella has worked on research and in-class projects investigating her interest in different forms of structure, such as steel space frames, mass timber, and reinforced concrete.



NCSEA Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Emily Dahbura
Oregon State University

Emily Dahbura is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Oregon State University. She is an active member of the university’s ASCE chapter and is also part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholars Program, a program for historically underrepresented students in STEM. After graduating, she plans to become a licensed structural engineer and give back to the community that has supported her to get so far.



NCSEA Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Haben Legesse
Syracuse University

Heban Legesse was born and raised in Eritrea, a small village in Africa. He arrived in America in 2012 through the International Organization for Migration, which was instrumental in helping his family flee the ongoing violence that resulted from border conflicts with Ethiopia, which took tens of thousands of lives and disrupted many more, including his own. Heban graduated in May of 2023 with his civil engineering degree and will continue his education at the University of Southern California to get his master's in structural engineering. 



NCSEA Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

Daniel Saulter
Texas A&M University

Daniel Saulter is a rising junior studying civil engineering at Texas A&M University. He is an active member in organizations such as ASCE and Engineers Serving the Community. He believes that the infrastructure civil engineers create should facilitate connection and community among those who use it. After he graduates, Daniel plans on becoming a licensed civil engineer and positively impacting his community through his work.


2022 Scholarship Recipients

Malik Corum -University of Virginia

Kameron Gonzalez - University of Utah

Larissa Lopez - Tennessee Tech University

Ivett Luna - University of California San Diego

Rayyn Rapley - Worchester Polytechnic Institute

Axel Soto - Virginia Tech


2021 Scholarship Recipients

Aime Nacoulma - Oregon State University 

Jessica Brown - University of Southern California

Jessica Gonzalez - University of Texas at San Antonio

Juan Vera Bedolla - Rowan University