Vanessa Martinez


What is your role in eia?

I’m the bridge/design engineer for the Cornell University chapter. I lead the main design workshops and check off on the designs and drawings for the team. 

How did you get involved in EIA?

Initially as a freshman I had decided not to join any of Cornell’s project teams, but I decided to go to one of the fairs and look at all the teams. I went to all the traditional civil engineering teams, but none of them really grabbed my attention. Then on my way out of the building I saw the EIA (formerly B2P) team and I got super excited. They really inspired me by bringing up how bridges connect people. I grew up doing a lot of community service; I come from a small impoverished border town which instilled in me how important it was to help each other out. The team leads at the table had that kind of passion for community involvement and that engineering drive and it made me want to join. So I applied!

How has being in EIA changed your plans for your future?

Honestly I’ve wanted to be a civil engineer for a really long time. Being a part of the team made me realize that I’m most interested in bridge design and structural engineering. The team helped me realize I really like civil engineering because it has a direct impact that you can see the moment you step out your door. I have wanted to join the Peace Corps for a while, and after traveling with the team to Swaziland this past summer I find myself more and more inclined to work either with the Peace Corps or a similar organization later on in my future. 


Daniel Zirtzman


What is your role in eia?

As a member of Continental Crossings at the University of Iowa, which is a chapter of EIA's Bridge Program, I am one of the fundraising chairs.  I help raise funds for the upcoming bridge build project by organizing fundraising events, volunteering at fundraising/service events, and assisting with corporate fundraising.  I am continuing into my fourth semester with the organization.

how did you get involved in eia?

I joined Continental Crossings because I thought that the bridge building program was very unique and exciting.  I love the mission and vision of EIA's Bridge Program and that I can directly impact people's lives by ending rural isolation through building bridges.  As an Eagle Scout, the service aspect of the organization helps me to continue my love for volunteering from Boy Scouts.  My previous experiences in high school didn't thoroughly introduce me into topics of bridge building and this program really opened me up to new possibilities in Civil Engineering.

how has being involved in eia changed your plans for the future?

The bridge program helped me declare which engineering I wanted to pursue, civil engineering.