Extraordinary Engineer: Frida Alvarado

Frida Alvarado, a civil engineering major from Dalton, is committed to sustainability and making it attainable for all communities - regardless of wealth. She believes engineering is the perfect balance between art, science, and mathematics.

Dalton, Georgia

High School
Dalton High School

Degree Major
Civil Engineering

Expected Graduation
May 2022

My favorite thing about being a UGA student:
I like that I have an opportunity to know people from all backgrounds and with different interests. We are not limited to only our engineering peers, and I feel that allows us to have a more well-rounded perspective, too!

Why did you choose engineering?
To me, engineering is the perfect balance between art, science, and mathematics. The more I learned about it the more I liked it, and it ultimately led me to wanting to pursue civil engineering.

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced while at UGA, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge coming to UGA has been that it is a predominantly white institution, and I had never attended an institution like this. This is not something for me to ‘overcome’ per se, but I have focused on finding people with similar interests as me that make me feel welcomed regardless of background, and it has helped.

Frida Alvarado (center) and friends celebrate the arrival of Spring by tossing cherry blossoms outside the Driftmier Engineering Center.

What have you learned (or are learning) that has made a difference for you?
I have learned that your academics do not define who you are as a person. You can make a positive impact on the people around you and your community regardless.

What/Who has helped you become a successful student here at UGA?
Finding great, supportive friends that empower you and uplift you has helped tremendously in my academic and personal endeavors. Additionally, having the support of understanding, kind faculty like Dr. Savadatti, Dr. Durham, and Ms. Amber Juncker can make the world of a difference on your growth as a student and as a person.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
I love North Campus because of how peaceful and pleasing to the eye it is – especially during sunny days.

What is your favorite restaurant in Athens?
I would consider Bubble Cafe my favorite because it is one of my comfort restaurants. I associate it with so many good memories, the staff is very sweet, and the food is always good! 

My favorite class at UGA: 
Multivariable calculus with Dr. Zabcic has been my favorite class because he always made it so engaging. He explained the concepts as if they were art and even encouraged us to bring colored pens for our notes.

Best memory at UGA so far?
My best memory is most definitely the 2020 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Semi-Formal. I met so many wonderful women in our college, and SWE’s semi-formals are one of the most fun events hosted by one of our engineering organizations. I love that it is open to all engineering majors with the goal of bringing us together in a fun, care-free environment.

Engineering students including Frida Alvarado (second from left) gather for the Society of Women Engineers Semi-Formal. (Photo taken prior to COVID-19 safety restrictions.)

Advice for younger students who wish to pursue engineering:
If you are  genuinely passionate about and want to pursue engineering, go for it and give it your best.

How do you hope to impact society with your engineering degree?
I want to help further sustainability and make it more attainable for all communities regardless of wealth. 

Photos by Naa Dedei Martins | UGA College of Engineering

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