Commencement Spotlight: Priyanka Petluru combines her love for engineering and the classics

Commencement Spotlight: Jason Eric Gonzales Martinez wants to educate and inspire others through his art

Priyanka Petluru

(Dec. 12, 2016) -- Meet Priyanka Petluru. She's an honors student with a love for electrical engineering and literature.

Petluru, 21, became interested in engineering during her sophomore year. By her senior year, she was conducting research on image processing and animation software.

"I came to UTSA to study biology, then biomedical engineering, before enrolling in the electrical engineering program," said Petluru. "They all are really interesting, but with electrical engineering, I was exposed to all these different concentrations and specialties. I really appreciated the opportunity for a diverse education."

Despite being an electrical engineer through and through, Petluru also has always been interested in classical literature, particularly the Greek and Roman classics. That's why, early on, she decided to also pursue a minor in classical studies. While at UTSA, she studied Latin and focused on studying the history, mythology and literature of ancient Greece, Rome and their surrounding areas.

"I think it's important to learn about the liberal arts," said Petluru. "I want to be a well-rounded scholar, and I appreciate that UTSA is flexible enough to accommodate that desire. You get the best of both worlds."

Petluru said the faculty and staff at UTSA were an invaluable resource for her development as a student.

"The UTSA Honors College is willing to support students in whatever they want to pursue," said Petluru. "They gave me a lot of help and support. I was able to start doing research as an undergrad and get experience in writing a thesis."

Outside the classroom, Petluru is an active member of campus organizations. In addition to being a part of the Honors College, she is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, an electrical engineering honor society, and she served as an officer for Tau Beta Pi, an honor society for all engineering professions.

"Being a part of both Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi has helped me meet so many brilliant students studying different kinds of engineering," said Petluru. "It's a great learning experience and a lot of fun."

This December, Petluru will graduate with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, and she credits UTSA with setting her on the engineering path.

After graduation, she wants to explore graduate programs that can help her enhance her knowledge of electronic devices and materials; she's particularly interested in learning more about the practical applications of and innovations in nanotechnology. Five years from now, she hopes to be graduating from a Ph.D. program that will allow her to succeed in either academia or industry.

"I don't know that I would've been an engineering major or done the work that I did if I'd gone anywhere else but UTSA," said Petluru. "I don't know that anywhere else has the same kind of opportunities and support that you get here."


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