Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities MESA

Director’s Note

Dear Campus Community,

Being new to WSU Tri-Cities, I wrote the bio below so that you may know a little about me.

I was born in Houston, Texas, moved to my parent’s hometown, Cotija, Michoacán, at the age of one, and moved to Vallejo, California, at the age of three. I lived in Vallejo for 17 years and was fortunate enough to attend Napa Valley College after high school. MESA and the TRiO program Student Support Services helped motivate me to get on track to transfer to a university. I transferred to UC Berkeley two years later and graduated with a mechanical engineering degree. The MESA Engineering Program and my fellow MESA classmates played a huge part in my UC Berkeley education.

Working as a truss builder my senior year in high school played a pivotal role in developing my interest in the engineering field. The engineer at the company brought me into the office and trained me to help him design roof trusses. While at UC Berkeley I worked as an engineering intern at a company the designed and built underground fueling pits for airports and air force bases. After receiving my degree I worked at a glass bottle manufacturing plant as a management trainee, where I managed some staff and assisted the regional engineer on projects. I left the glass bottle manufacturing plant to become a design engineer for the gear pump division of a large industrial equipment company, where I was involved in all parts of the product development cycle.

In pursuit of my passion for STEM education, I became the academic coordinator of the MESA Schools Program (MSP) at CSU East Bay in Hayward, California. Within my 65 month tenure with MSP I was promoted to assistant director and helped the program organize 9 MESA Days, provide professional development for MESA teachers and MESA staff, give lectures, manage budgets, manage staff, write grants, rebuild the Sacramento Center program, and coordinate an engineering transfer grant.

Outside of school and work, I spend some of my time getting involved with local and international community improvement efforts, traveling, camping, hiking, cooking, going to community and family events, running, and biking. I lived in Berkeley for five years and in Oakland for six years, and got very involved in the communities of these two cities and the general East Bay Area. I am living with my fiancée and our two little dogs in Yakima and we all look forward to getting involved in the Yakima Valley and Tri-Cities communities.

Thank you for reading a little about me. I am excited to work with the campus and industry communities, school districts, and the community at large in continuing to serve YVTC MESA students, as well as strengthening and expanding the program.

Luis Alcazar
MESA Director