Celina Tragesser

Celina Tragesser, BCE 2020, completed her degree online in the midst of the pandemic and began working full-time in August—also online. She was grateful to have had some previous experience working with the company in person as an intern. Here she shares her gratitude for the program and the scholarships she received.

It is difficult to adequately describe how much the department has prepared me to meet the challenges awaiting me as a civil engineer. My two years at the University of Minnesota stretched me incredibly, and I value every aspect of the education I received. I am so fortunate that I landed in this department, even though I am now living and working far from my family in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I marvel at how the CEGE environment mirrors the workplace in providing education through personal relationships. I am sincerely thankful to the professors for sharing their lives with us students and challenging us while giving us the tools we need to succeed. CEGE is a hidden jewel at the University!

Money was a concern as I chose a college. While saving money by attending community college was a good decision financially, I have no question that my education in CEGE was well worth the price. If I could do it again, I would spend all four years at UMN. The scholarships I received made it possible to complete my program in a timely way and free of debt. I am grateful to the donors who made my scholarships possible. The scholarships enabled me to direct my time and attention to learning. This generosity inspired me to work hard and learn as much as I could as a CEGE student.

I have come to know several engineers with long careers of service, who sacrificed much personal time to work for the public and work with students. Having relationships across generations opened paths for me to become a better engineer. The more time I spend with engineers who have devoted their careers to the greater good and found satisfaction in their work, the more inspired I am to find that same satisfaction.

The key to advancing society, and not just maintaining it, will be to develop inspired and innovative engineers. The engineering leaders and professors we students encountered through our time at CEGE planted many seeds. We must now tend and continue to develop our careers. Imagine our entire generation of engineers growing and thriving in that rich wisdom. As engineers, we build on what has come before and propel society forward.

Thank you, donors, for your role in supporting young engineers like me as we strive to serve society!