Student Profile: Angel Moises De La Rosa
Last Updated on September 09, 2019 at 10:00 AM
Originally published September 09, 2019
By UC Staff
Angel Moises De La Rosa is a graduate student in electrical engineering. He said UTEP’s feeling of a tight-knit community has helped him throughout his academic journey.
Name: Angel Moises De La Rosa
Classification: Graduate student
Major: Electrical Engineering
From which high school did you graduate? Chapin High School, class of 2011
What have you enjoyed most about studying here? I feel being this close to home makes it easier to surround myself with people who understand the struggle of being a college student. More times than not, new people that I’ve grown close to shared some kind of connection with me from the start, even though I’ve never met them prior to beginning college. I’ve always found it humorous and humbling when people click almost immediately when you find out that “this” friend lived only five minutes away from you as a kid, and “that” pal loved eating at the same diners that you did, and “these” people were on the opposite side from you on the field in a rivalry game.
In which extracurricular activities are you involved? Since high school, I’ve been active in playing and singing music at different churches throughout the years. Since I began my studies at UTEP, I’ve settled in and devoted my time at the Catholic Campus Ministry Newman Center, which has been where I’ve met some of the most wonderful men and women who make me feel at home. At the Newman Center, I've helped with a handful of retreats and services by playing music, which has always been my biggest and most helpful emotional outlet.
What’s your favorite place to relax or study on campus? I do love sitting on the second floor of Union Building East, particularly near the large windows that give a view of the nearby mountains. When the time of day is around sunset, the view can definitely serve as a visually calming de-stresser when you’re in the middle of deriving differential equations, analyzing modern semiconducting device physics, and preparing publication-ready research papers.
What has been your favorite class so far, and why? I would have to say that my favorite course was Integrated Circuits and Devices, taught under the instruction of Dr. Deidra Hodges, who now has become my research and thesis adviser. This particular course not only was an interesting subject to commit to for a semester, it was also my first experience seeing an amount of enthusiasm from a professor that, from the first lecture, truly motivated me to give an extra effort to strive for comprehending the subject in ways that exceeded simply remembering formulas and derivations. Dr. Hodges’ methods encouraged me to understand the deeper conceptual meanings of what her course was about.
Tell us about a hands-on learning experience you’ve had at UTEP? As many of my peers have inevitably experienced, I’ve had to undertake a senior project in order to graduate with my bachelor’s degree. This project placed myself within a team of other fellow seniors to research, design, and test an innovative and practical engineering apparatus. I found myself taking part in not just the physical designing and building of our project, but also the software coding of its functionality, the latter of which has never been my forte. Nonetheless, this was an eye-opening experience that showed me what being an engineer is really about — bringing your ideas and gifts alongside those of others to the table, leaving your squabbles at the door, and serving to the benefit of the people.
Tell us about undergraduate research opportunities you’ve taken advantage of at UTEP? My first exposure to the research I wanted to commit myself to was in a course called VLSI Nanotechnology, which was led by Dr. David Zubia. The course included a lab in which we were walked through the hands-on fabrication process of semiconductor devices in a clean room known as the NanoMaterials Integration Lab. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the time to follow up on device fabrication as an undergraduate. However, when I began my graduate studies in 2017, that same research was still on my checklist of things I wanted to involve myself in. I’ve now become committed to the Thin-Film Photovoltaics Lab led by Dr. Hodges, and am now doing what I've always wanted since that first clean room experience.
What are your career aspirations? I ultimately see myself in a career as a professor at the university level, teaching the same material that I've become so deeply rooted in: electronic devices and field phenomena. On the road to get to that point, I'll spend a good portion of my post-academic life working in the industry of designing, researching and fabricating electronic devices.
What’s your favorite UTEP event, and why? I've come to really appreciate finals week, but not because it’s the end of the semester and we cross the finish line battered and bruised from the relentless workloads. I really enjoy how the UTEP campus does a lot to lighten up the mood with several different events to take the student's mind out of the havoc and madness. Whether by offering coffee, doughnuts, music, late breakfasts, yoga, movies, board games, or therapy dogs, UTEP really does try to allow its students to have a breather when they really need it.
What advice would you give to an incoming UTEP student? While the saying itself dates back a long time ago, I'll quote a phrase that I first heard from my favorite vocalist, Maynard James Keenan: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” In other words, don’t let the upcoming workloads overwhelm you — take things second by second, step by step. You may not see the progress immediately, but you will eventually in hindsight.
What is your best UTEP memory so far? My best memory was on the first day of my job as a Teaching Assistant for a Fundamentals of Semiconductor Devices course with Dr. Zubia. As I was helping the students, in a rather nervous fashion, with some of their questions relating to an in-class assignment, it was then when I first realized that I wanted to become a professor at some point in my life. It was at that moment when I laid to rest the mystery of the ever-daunting question, “What do I want to do with my life?” What a beautiful feeling it was to finally have that load lifted off of my chest.