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Julian de la Rua

Julian de la Rua

Past Faces of New Paltz

Dean Engle

Amie Staley

Hometown: Mar del Plata, Argentina
Major: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2012, cum laude
Clubs/Organizations: Eta Kappa Nu (electrical and computer engineering honor society); former president and captain, New Paltz Rugby Team; vice president and electrical team leader, Solar Car Team.
Graduate school: University of California Santa Barbara, electrical engineering with concentration in controls and robotics

How did you wind up moving from Argentina to New Paltz for college?

Ending up in New Paltz was a bit of last minute luck for me. When I decided on studying abroad, I wanted to be at a school close enough to New York City, but didn't have any schools in mind. By the time I was finishing my applications, I ran into an American schools convention where New Paltz had a stand. The electrical engineering program seemed very attractive to me, as well as the school’s location and everyday life.

How did your work with the Solar Car Team enhance your New Paltz education?

The Solar Car Team was one of the biggest parts of my learning. It required combining each one of the different classes I had taken in the past years to accomplish the build of the car. As the only electrical engineer in the team, I not only had to design the entire electrical system, but also build it. Hands-on projects like this teach you a lot more than what you learn sitting in a classroom taking notes, and it is knowledge you just don't forget overnight.

Was there a particular experience/activity you participated in at New Paltz which stands out for you?

Every rugby game, when I represented the school in a field with 14 of my teammates, were some of the best moments I had in my undergrad life. The Solar Car was nothing less than that. We were competing, for the most part, against some of the biggest universities in the country (Michigan, Berkeley, MIT, etc.), and not only did we place 10th out 18 teams, but we beat a big school like MIT.

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