MESA: Field specific program allows students to network and learn


Christopher McKnight

William Sutherland, a 26-year-old engineering major studies in the MESA lab room located in the science building on Nov. 6.

Emanuel Espinoza, Staff Writer

Students majoring in engineering, mathematics and science have a place on campus that can help them prepare for a four-year university at the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement center.

 MESA provides assistance in the transfer process for students. They also offer workshops and field trips to universities. The program offers career advising for students who are majoring in a specific field through industry mentors, as well as job-shadowing, career fairs and internship opportunities.

Through this program, students develop academic and leadership skills, increase educational performance and gain confidence in their ability to compete professionally, according to their website.

Khoi Hoang, a 19-year-old computer science major who works as a tutor in the MESA lab, said that the program is helpful to him and other students.

“It’s definitely working out for me,” Hoang said. “I’ve had some mentoring orientations for the MESA program and I have taken some classes from Mr. Carney. It’s really providing some good information for me.”

The Program Coordinator Michael Carney said that MESA has about 150 students in the program and provides counseling for students who need help when they face challenges.

“They just often need to know that there is someone in their corner advocating for them,” Carney said. “There’s someone who has been where they are before and that can motivate and encourage them to keep going, as opposed to dropping out or doing something else with their life.”

Alicia Titus, a 28-year-old animal science major, discovered the MESA program through looking online at the college website.

“It definitely gave me a lot of opportunities, especially in my career,” Titus said. “It was just really great to meet other students who are very passionate in the exact same field, if not similar-related studies and it’s just great to be able to receive the services that are offered to us.”

The program provides school supplies in the lab such as textbooks, calculators, a computer lab and free printing. The lab also has a locker area where students can put their things in, as well as a kitchenette.

Carney said that the program has strong alumni and that the program has helped students in the long run. One student in particular came into the program right out of high school, transferred to University of California, Davis, then to medical school and is now a physician.

Michael Lawlor, a physics professor, is a host professor for MESA’s Academic Excellence Workshop. Lawlor said that the AEW is an academic support group for physics students, which meets on a weekly basis and they work on things related to problems with the material that they are covering. He said that students give positive reviews of the workshops.

Titus said that the program can help benefit students in the long run.

“I definitely feel that this a great program and will definitely benefit students in the long run,” Titus said. “We are very driven students and we’re definitely going to be really passionate for our goals, so we’re looking for anything that’s going to help succeed to meet our goals and this is a program definitely for that student.”