15:01 PM

STEM careers grant helps students find success, give back

Through the Pathways to STEM Careers grant, University of Houston-Clear Lake students are successfully attaining their educational and professional goals — students like David Langner.

The grant targets Hispanic students choosing a STEM-related field of study, offering support services and other strategies to increase their academic and professional success.

Langner, who transferred to UHCL in 2018 from a community college and enrolled in UH-Clear Lake's Mechanical Engineering program, said he first joined Pathways as a peer mentor because he hoped to make a difference in the lives of freshman and sophomore students.

"I joined Pathways in 2020 because I thought I had some knowledge and experience that I could share, and it was a great way to give a hand," he said. "Eventually, I became a tutor for several professors in the Mechanical Engineering program, and I enjoyed helping out other students because I was not given that opportunity."

Langner said he particularly enjoyed working with Professor and Program Chair Jeff Mountain, for whom he also did teaching assistant work as well as tutoring. Despite interruptions to his tutoring schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued grading and giving feedback to students in their reports.

His Pathways to STEM experience ultimately led to an internship at re:3D, one of the largest industrial 3D printing companies in Bay Area Houston. He started his internship in March 2021, and upon completion in May, was hired full time as a manufacturing engineer specialist.

"I was very excited to get this job," he said. "I didn't know much about industrial printing when I got here, but I learned a whole lot. I give thanks to my professors who prepared me in many ways. That's why I have this full-time position."

For more information about UHCL's Mechanical Engineering program, go online.