Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering student awarded national scholarship

June 2, 2023

Environmental portrait of Lorena Chavarro-ChauxAfter receiving a national scholarship, a graduate student of the Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one step closer to realizing her professional dream.

Lorena Chavarro-Chaux, a master’s student in the Watersheds and Water Quality Research Lab, has received a $3000 scholarship from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

“I was excited to be one of the 11 graduate students among the 346 Hispanics that were awarded the SHPE scholarship. I am also excited to be the first graduate student from MSU receiving it,” Chavarro-Chaux said. “The fact that this organization recognized my career as a graduate student and the time, effort, and love dedicated to MSU’s SHPE chapter as a member of the executive board is incredibly rewarding.”

SHPE is the nation’s largest association promoting Hispanic leadership in STEM through its mission, vision, and values. The organization provides a network of influential Hispanic leaders, Fortune 500 companies, world-renowned academic institutions and government entities to the Hispanic STEM workforce. The organization has professional and student chapters throughout the United States. Chavarro-Chaux has been an active member of SHPE since 2019 and served as the secretary, vice-president and president of Mississippi State’s student chapter.

The Mississippi State University student chapter promotes awareness through events like Noche de Ciencias, Teaching Water and the Catalpa Creek stream cleanup. The organization builds up and promotes the Hispanic culture, integrity and diversity through the Se Habla Español event, lottery or game nights, and through participation in MSU’s International Fiesta. SHPE also incentivizes and supports the professional development of the chapter members with annual involvement in the National Convention, the National Institute for Leadership Advancement (NILA), resume reviews, CPT & OPT meetings, and company internship and co-op meetings.

“Overall, SHPE has been changing lives by empowering our community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development,” Chavarro-Chaux said. “SHPE’s vision is that Hispanics are highly valued and influential as leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians and engineers.”

Chavarro-Chaux, who specializes in water resources, said that the scholarship partially covers her cost-of-living expenses, which include textbooks and program licenses, among other things, as she continues her education and begins to build her career.

The Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is online at and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at and can be found on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

By Camille Carskadon