MEEN Girl / Mexico Leadership Exchange Program Spotlight : Natalia Ruiz

Every year, ASME hosts students from Universidad de Guanajuato for a week.  Their trip includes campus tours, trips to Houston and Austin, and much more!  MEEN Girls helped by housing the 5 females that were on the trip this year.  One of the MLEP MEEN Girls, Natalia Ruiz, talks about her exchange experience below!



Howdy! My name is Natalia Ruiz and I’m a sophomore mechanical engineering major. I live in Mexico and I’m a student of Universidad de Guanajuato. This year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Intercultural Exchange Program with Texas A&M University and make a trip to Aggieland with some of my fellow ASME-UG members. To be honest, that was my first time in the US and I was excited about going there.

ASME-TAMU members are great people. They hosted us and coordinated our activities related to mechanical engineering like industry tours and the energy workshop. We also learned about A&M history while taking the campus tour and the Texas culture by going to different cities like Austin and Houston. Also, we had fun activities like going to Lake Somerville, playing some water sports, and going to the Kemah Boardwalk. I really enjoyed my time there!


I think one of my favorite parts was learning about the culture and traditions of A&M. I was amazed by the ‘belonging’ feeling that everybody has with the college. I think that’s something awesome and I could feel the Aggie Spirit- especially at the women’s soccer game vs. LSU doing the yells, Gig’em Aggies!

Having this opportunity to do an exchange, see new places, learn new things and interact with new people has opened my mind and my vision of the world. It was certainly an invaluable experience I’ll always remember.



MEEN Girl Spotlight: Sara Van Kalker

In our second edition of MEEN Girl Spotlight- Sara Van Kalker talks about her time in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  Sara is on the MEEN Girls Outreach team this year to teach underclassmen, and high school students about the multitude of opportunities available with a mechanical engineering degree.

MEEN Girl Spotlight

Howdy Ags, my name is Sara Van Kalker and I am a junior mechanical engineering major. My first year at Texas A&M was thrilling and challenging. As a girl with little technical experience, I was often not confident in my abilities to keep up with all the great Aggie engineers. However, after getting involved with ASME, MEEN girls and Alpha Chi Omega, my networks have broadened and I now have great support systems.

As second semester sophomore year came around, I was offered a co-op with Johnson and Johnson’s medical company Ethicon after attending the fall career fair. This co-op furthered my confidence as a girl in engineering because I was able to work on hands-on projects that developed my technical skills. During my co-op, I was able to learn about lean manufacturing and become yellow belt certified. In addition, I learned all about medical manufacturing and its regulations. Because Ethicon produces over eighty percent of the world’s sutures, it was always a priority to comply with all medical standards set by all of the countries. This made for a very exciting work environment.

Coming back from my co-op to begin my junior year at Texas A&M has been surprisingly easier than I thought. After little studying for a whole semester, I was a little worried on how I would pick up the college life schedule again. However, my support systems within ASME, MEEN girls and Alpha Chi Omega has made the transition easy. I urge all under (and upper) classmen engineers to get involved with different organizations…either engineering related or not.  Having support systems in different areas makes college fun and it’s beneficial.  I know junior year has many challenges yet to come, but I can confidently say I am prepared to tackle them with the confidence I have developed though my support systems and co-op experience.

MEEN Girl Spotlight: Holly Turman

Howdy MEEN Girls- here’s one of the many new ideas we are trying out this semester! This blog will include posts from current students and females in industry to share their stories and advice with everyone.  Our first post is from Holly Turman, current student and ASME Academic Chair-

Holly Turman

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