Jeanette Oruç de León is a Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Please tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. My mom is from Mexico, my dad is from Guatemala, and my husband is from Turkey. I have always enjoyed the arts: music, painting, acting, and dancing. My concentration in mechanical engineering was thermal/fluids, but I also have an interest in robotics. I still dream of creating a life-changing innovation.
What is your job and title and what do you do?
I am a Lecturer in the Mechanical Department. I was also hired as a Lab Manager to improve the teaching labs in Mechanical Engineering. I teach laboratory courses and I oversee the needs of all of our teaching labs so the laboratory experience can be improved for students.
What brought you to UTSA?
I have been at UTSA since 2000, when I started my Bachelor’s degree. I also completed my Master’s degree at UTSA. I was an Adjunct Faculty member at UTSA in 2011, and I returned in 2019 as a full-time faculty member. I would say that life brought me back to UTSA and into the realm of academia once again.
What do you find most challenging and rewarding about being an engineer?
I love engineering. I stayed away for some time, but it kept calling me back. In industry, being an engineer is exciting because you can directly affect people, devices, structures, etc., depending on your area. At the same time, the challenge is being meticulous about what you do and ensuring that you cover all sides of the problem, while also finding the most efficient way to approach it. While you can positively impact lives and society, you can also make mistakes that are detrimental, so there is an enormous responsibility. This is why I encourage students to pay attention NOW, in their educational career, to begin thinking like they will in the industry. They need to push themselves to think professionally and conscientiously because mistakes in industry are costly. With passion and perseverance, successes in the field are extremely rewarding.
How do you like working on a university campus?
Working on a university campus is comfortable, if the campus is UTSA. By comfortable, I mean that I like the UTSA environment and the diversity on our campus. It’s friendly and it feels like people care about each other. I spent many years as a student, and I feel like I understand student life. I can relate to what goes on, and I want to help students as much as I can. I like to encourage improvement and success among my students. I want them to feel like they have learned something and feel empowered to move on to the next level.
What was your college experience like in general?
My college experience was awesome. I had a great time at UTSA. I loved my engineering education at UTSA. My professors were challenging, but I thrive on being challenged to push harder and reach higher. I was very happy with my college experience.
What are three words that best describe you?
The three words that best describe me are:
What are your top three life highlights?
My top three life highlights are:
- Graduating Summa Cum Laude with my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and seeing how proud my family was. I always believed my parents were true engineers, even though they never graduated from college or high school. They were proud of what their daughter had achieved in a challenging career.
- Getting married and becoming a mom. I treasure the simple moments with all of my close family.
- Being welcomed back into the engineering community at UTSA and having the opportunity to contribute something of value to students and the university.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
If I could travel anywhere, I would visit Spain.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
If I were an animal, I would be a lion. It’s all in the name. 😉