Engineering dreams: Dr. Eva Suarez’s visionary journey to shape the future of PBSC

Dr. Eva Suarez and Host, Julian Zaldivar at ESPN Deportes Studio in Downtown West Palm.

In the bright, bustling studio of ESPN in downtown West Palm Beach, a story unfolded that would inspire not just future engineers but anyone with a dream. Eva Suarez, Ph.D., the pioneering force behind the expansion of the Engineering Technology Department at Palm Beach State College, sat down with general manager and host of Deportes Radio 760AM Julian Zaldivar to share her journey and the transformative power of education. The interview, set against the backdrop of innovation and aspiration, wasn’t just about the mechanics of engineering; it was about the human spirit’s capacity to transcend limits.

Suarez’s story began in the warmth of Puerto Rico, where her academic journey took root. With a passion for learning that was as boundless as the ocean surrounding her island home, she pursued not one, but five degrees across various fields of engineering and sciences. Each degree was a stepping stone, not just in her career but in her quest to make education accessible and relevant for those who dreamt of engineering the future.

As she spoke, her eyes lit up with the excitement of opening a new branch of the Engineering Technology Department at the Boca Raton campus of PBSC. The program, already offering classes and set to fully deploy new labs with cutting-edge technology in January 2024, was her vision brought to life. Her goal was clear: to prepare students to become the engineering technology workforce that Palm Beach County’s industry so desperately needed.

The conversation shifted to the heart of PBSC’s engineering programs.  Suarez outlined the various pathways available to students, from the Associate in Arts degree for those aiming to transfer to a university, to the more hands-on Associate in Science degree and College Credit Certificates for students eager to dive directly into the workforce. Her explanation demystified the academic paths, highlighting that a career in engineering was accessible to a wide range of students, not just those who excelled in math.

Suarez passionately described an engineering technologist’s role, emphasizing the hands-on, practical experience that set them apart from engineers and technicians. It was clear from her explanation that PBSC was preparing students for real-world challenges, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

As the interview drew to a close, Suarez shared the success stories of PBSC graduates, who not only landed high-paying jobs but also had opportunities to further their education, thanks to supportive employers. It was a testament to the program’s success and the demand for skilled engineering technologists in the industry.

The interview with Suarez wasn’t just a discussion about the Engineering Technology Department at PBSC. It was a narrative of determination, a story of how education can transform lives and communities. As viewers listened to her journey from Puerto Rico to Boca Raton, they were reminded of the power of setting goals, the importance of lifelong learning, and the impact of one woman’s vision to engineer a brighter future for all.

Stephanie Santos, Palm Beach State College

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