Engineering excellence

Vivianna Molina 225x150
Philanthropy helps Vivianna Gamez Molina pursue her goals.

Vivianna Gamez Molina is performing groundbreaking research at Northern Arizona University. Thanks to scholarships, Gamez Molina, a senior environmental engineering major, is excelling in her research of sustainability that explores ways to minimize environmental impact. 

Gamez Molina, like more than 40 percent of students at Northern Arizona University, is the first in her family to attend a university.  As someone who has always been conscious of sustainability and environmental impact, Gamez Molina wanted to make a difference in the field by exploring more sustainable ways to build and innovate—however, because her family could not provide financial backing at the levels needed, she knew that support from others would be critical to making her goals a reality, and she dedicated herself to earning it.

Her hard work paid off. Scholarships from the E. Eugene Carter Foundation, the Science Foundation Arizona, the NAU Student Philanthropy Council, and the NAU College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences have enabled Gamez Molina to follow her passion.

“I know the positive impact scholarships have on my studies,” Gamez Molina says. “A lot of financial pressure is off of my shoulders. I can focus more on my classes, finishing my degree, and finding a great job doing what I love.”

Opportunities for leadership

During her time at the university, Gamez Molina has taken every opportunity to pursue her passion and become involved in the community. She was accepted into the NASA Space Grant program, which enabled her to conduct important studies with the goal of adding to NASA’s growing research database. Gamez Molina shared her findings at the 2013 Undergraduate Symposium, an event that gathers students from across the university to present their work in science, art, and other projects.

 Currently, she serves as the president of Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society that works on volunteer projects and promotes engineering awareness at local high schools.

Gamez Molina is currently working with a group on a project that involves returning minerals, nutrients, and other beneficial materials back into water that has undergone reverse-osmosis. Gamez Molina and her team plan to submit their findings at a national conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico on April 6, 2014.

“I’m really passionate about this project because it's amazing how many people don't know that reverse osmosis water can actually be damaging to your body,” Gamez Molina says. “What we’re doing is restoration and optimization. We are finding the optimal mineral concentration that we can add back into the water to stabilize it."  

Eyes on the future

Gamez Molina has worked hard to epitomize the excellence of Northern Arizona University students, and says she is thankful for the financial support she received that has made all of this possible.

“At the end of all this hard work, I will not only have improved my own life, but life for my family as well,” Gamez Molina says. “In the future, I will give to others as donors have done for me, because I know I can make an impact. I’m so grateful for all the support I have received.”