Student Spotlight: Alana Alfeche
Growing up in the Philippines, Alana Alfeche lived in a house that was across the river from her school and other places her family needed to reach.
“The only solution, of course, was to build a bridge,” she said. “But we encountered two problems. One was that we didn't have the money to afford the necessary materials to make a sustainable bridge. Second, when it rained, the water level rose and always washed away the bridge that we could afford to make. So, sometimes, I was drenched in water when I went to school. Since then, I’ve always wanted to build a bridge so kids can arrive at school safely.”
Alfeche decided to major in engineering at College of DuPage, knowing she received the best education without going into debt. She considers this to be the best decision she has ever made.
“It was an honor going to one of the best community colleges in the nation. The classes were as demanding as they could be and I evolved as a thinker,” she said. “Sometimes I found myself solving problems that I never thought I could. I solved problems in Calculus that no one has the answer to, thanks Professor (Bob) Capetta. In Physics, Professor (Carley) Bennett’s homework gave me the ‘physics rush’ when I solved a problem. And the creativity of Professor (Robert) Milligan when he teaches Chemistry made it really enjoyable.
“Because of these great teachers and their wonderful work, I gained the capability to think and analyze problems while having fun at the same time. And I was surrounded by very bright and wonderful engineers that I worked with and got help from 24/7. A special shout out to the Engineering Club and Elite 38!”
Alfeche earned her Associate in Engineering Science and is studying Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She will apply to graduate school soon and is looking at the University of Illinois, University of Florida and Northwestern University. In 2016, she worked under one of her MatSE professors on drug-delivery optimization using Lipid Nanoparticles. She hopes to pursue drug delivery research for my advanced degree.
Alfeche is thrilled with her choice to attend COD and encourages others to just go for it.
“There is no other community college better than College of DuPage,” she said. “And the statistics reflect this. It’s like 95 percent of the engineering students do better than others at four-year colleges and universities when they transfer. So why not start at the best? Come to COD!”
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