DELTA Connections Shape Environmental Engineer's Experience

Sofia Martinez

When Sofia Martinez joined her high school robotics team the summer before her senior year, she had no idea it would spark an interest in engineering that would shape her college experience. The Pasadena, CA native credited that transformative robotics competition with "demystifying engineering" and spurring her to apply to study environmental engineering at across the country at Drexel.

The transition from West Coast to East Coast was an adjustment, but Martinez leaned on the DELTA Summer Bridge program her first year to acclimate. The program provides a tight-knit community of engineering students through team building and cultural excursions around Philadelphia in the weeks before their first year and mentorship opportunities throughout their Drexel career.

"As a California kid new to the Northeast, I wasn't sure what to expect from my new home," Martinez recalled. "But the friends I made in DELTA helped me get my bearings, both on campus and off. We still get together when classes allow to explore Philly and remind each other what brought us here in the first place - our passion for engineering."

The early social foundation provided by DELTA allowed Martinez to quickly jump into all that Drexel offers. She secured an impactful co-op at AKRF, an engineering consulting firm, where she gained valuable experience designing green stormwater infrastructure. This hands-on engineering work solidified Martinez's passion for water resources.

Martinez has also been active with Engineers Without Borders and Drexel's student radio station, WKDU. Through Engineers Without Borders, she traveled to Guatemala to implement a latrine and handwashing station project. The on-the-ground international experience exposed her to real-world applications of engineering concepts learned in class. Her involvement with Drexel radio provided an artistic, non-engineering outlet while allowing her to connect with other like-minded students.

With graduation approaching in June, Martinez credited the DELTA community and her Drexel experience in Philadelphia with solidifying her commitment to water resources engineering. "Being in a major city on the East Coast has opened up opportunities I couldn’t have dreamed of when I left home," she said. "I was grateful I took the chance to expand my horizons."

Learn more about the DELTA Summer Program here.