Chicago native Miguel Alvarez chose to make Little Rock his home when he saw the diversity on the UALR campus, especially compared with other schools that had engineering programs.
Alvarez, who moved with his family from Chicago to the small Arkansas town of DeQueen when he was 16, had grown accustomed to Southern hospitality by the time he began contemplating his plans for higher education.
“I think my favorite part of UALR is the people — all of the students, faculty, and staff are extremely nice and helpful,” he said. “And, it is more diverse than other schools in the state. Plus, I was ready to start a new life in a bigger city.”
He says another leading factor in selecting UALR was the school’s mechanical engineering program.
“Studying engineering has given me a feeling of satisfaction and self-worth,” he said. “And, as a quality engineer intern at Caterpillar Inc., I am gaining valuable work experience before I even finish my degree.”
Alvarez is active with two engineering organizations, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
He is also a proud member of the UALR Council of the League of United Latin American Citizens as well as the Little Rock Toastmasters Club.
A three-time scholarship recipient who is on the Dean’s List, Alvarez said he embraces each day with enthusiasm and anticipation for the challenges ahead. His positive feelings stem from the fact that he is on the right path toward fulfilling his dreams.
“To quote one of my favorite authors (Paulo Coelho, in The Alchemist), ‘No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second encounter with God and with eternity,’” he said.