Three Young Tica Women Become the First Female Physical Engineers in Central America

    A source of inspiration for all girls in the country

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    The ordinary graduation held last Friday, September 8, at the central campus of Cartago, where 375 people received their professional degree, highlights a milestone in the history of new graduates for the Tecnológico de Costa Rica (TEC).

    In the solemn activity, three women became the first graduates of Costa Rica and Central America from the Physics Engineering degree, distinguishing a new contribution from the “Tecnológico” to the strengthening of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for young students.

     The first of the three events held at the Arts Center was the space where Natalia CalderónBarboza, Valentina Campos Aguilar and María Elena Esquivel Murillo became the first women to obtain this academic degree

     Natalia was one of the representatives of the graduates, highlighting in her speech before the new professionals, parents, TEC authorities and other guests, the value and importance of public education for the country, especially for a university like “Tecnológico” that reflects the future commitment and development of the nation.

    An experience of personal and academic growth

     “Our journey at TEC has been an experience of personal and academic growth (…) We look forward with a mixture of curiosity and enthusiasm for what the future holds for us,” said Natalia CalderónBarboza.

     For her part, Valentina highlighted that being part of the first three graduates of Physics Engineering from TEC is not only personal pride but also a milestone and a historical challenge, not only for all the female students but also for all the professors and graduate engineers who they have been involved with in science and technology.

     “It is a call of strength that we are making history and that every day we are more women innovating in this area,” she indicated. María Elena pointed out that it means the summit of many efforts, sleepless nights and even some disappointments with grades – today surpassed. “This is the achievement we have been waiting for,” she said.

     High value for the labor market

     Although the young women received their degrees this Friday, the three engineers are already in the workforce.In the case of Natalia, she is working in the research and development area of ​​ITEK, a medical device manufacturing company, while Valentina was hired by the University of Costa Rica (UCR) as a teacher for the Physics degree.  María Elena is also working as an engineer at the transnational company Boston Scientific.

     The hiring of these young women is a reflection of the high percentage of employability that TEC graduates have.  According to the latest study by the Labor Observatory of Professions of the National Council of Rectors, 95.4% of TEC graduates have a job, in addition to 7 out of every 10 people who graduated from this school already had a job before graduating.

    According to the physicist and master’s degree Álvaro Amador Jara, coordinator of the degree, this academic offer concentrates a mixed profile, with knowledge in areas such as metrology, electromagnetism, experimental physics and biology.

     “Having the first graduates is the culmination of a dream and a new opportunity to provide professionals in an area with great opportunities and necessary for the country and the region,” said Amador.

     In the same event where Natalia, Valentina and María Elena received their degree, five more young people from this same career were also given their graduation certificate.  They join three other graduates who received their degree at the end of March 2023.

    This career receives an average of 40 students per year, however, there is already a need to expand this coverage.  In 2023, this engineering will have about 300 students taking this unique offer in the country and the Central American region.

     The graduation held last Friday in three events on the Cartago campus, closed the week of solemn ceremonies for awarding degrees held on the campuses and academic centers of Limón, San José, San Carlos and Alajuela.In total, 595 people from different careers with bachelor’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees graduated at these events.

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