Skip to main content

SUSTAIN Scholars

The SUSTAIN program includes involvement to a hybrid course on sustainability and summer on-line curriculum in renewable energy as part of the program. Students work collaboratively in mentoring activities and designing, and implementing a solution to a real-world problem. The program also involves a paid summer internship for 6-8 weeks at a local agency, non-profit or company that is of interest to each particular student. Students are expected to be engaged in the program for 6 to 8 weeks during the summer free for both the internship and the online course. For more information about this program please contact the Sustainability Coordinator, Juan Martinez at

SUSTAIN Scholars - Summer 2022

photo of abigail rodriguez
Eryka Anzora is a senior at UHD with a major in psychology and a minor in sustainability. Having 5 younger siblings, she has always wanted to look after others and that includes ensuring that everyone has clean air, water, shelter, and space to enjoy their lives. Growing up in a low-income family, being sustainable has always been an important aspect like not over-consuming and reusing items. After declaring a minor in sustainability and being a part of SUSTAIN, she has learned how much more important sustainability is and have decided to pursue a career revolving around it in the future.  

photo of Prado
Nichole Dukett is a Chemistry major at the University of Houston -Downtown. Nichole partook in the UHD SUSTAIN Program during the academic year 2021-2022. She chose to participate in the SUSTAIN program because she was interested in getting more knowledge about what it takes to be sustainable, and how sustainable choices impact the environment. Nichole learned more about sustainability than she could anticipate and feels more confident about sustainable options and solutions, even scalable options - personal choices up to commercial strategies. Her future interests lie in sustainability and the environment. She is still exploring my future options, but she is certainly planning to pursue work that positively impacts humanity while preserving the environment safely.



photo of Irene Prado

Irene Prado is a Control and Instrumentation Engineering Technology senior. To her sustainability means finding ways to make technology work more efficiently and function together with nature and not opposed to it. After graduating they hope to work in the renewable energy sector in some capacity such as microgrid implementation.

photo of abigail rodriguez

Astrid Raygoza is a senior, her major is Psychology, and working on two minors, one in Sustainability and one in Spanish. Sustainability means finding the balance between having a stable society, and economy to protect the environment so that we may leave a healthy environment for future generations and other organisms to continue to live on. With regards to my future career, I am currently open to any career relating to Psychology, Sustainability, and the ability to help others with my bilingual knowledge; overall with my future career I aspire to help others, whether that be people or the environment as whole.

SUSTAIN Scholars Fall 2020 - Summer 2021

photo of abigail rodriguez

Abigail Rodriguez's major is biology. Sustainability for her indicates discovering a more reliable way to make populations safer for countless years to come. She would like to see more and more people choosing to trade their way of life to become less dependent on nonrenewable energy. With this in mind, she hopes that her little part of being in the Sustain program will help her accomplish these goals and help her get ideas on new renewable energy that can accommodate everyone's daily lives.

photo of christina sterna
Christina Sterna is an Environmental Geoscience major. To her, sustainability means living in a way that ensures that we and future generations will have a healthy and equitable environment to thrive in. she hopes to go into a field where sustainability is a priority and to work for a company that is environmentally responsible.

Photo of Elizabeth Rosa
Elizabeth Rosa is majoring in biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biosciences. Sustainability is one of the ways we can combat climate change. Global warming is one of the biggest challenges future generation that we face unless we start doing something about it. Elizabeth plans to become a physician and practice medicine at the Texas Medical Center.

Photo of Irvin Solano
Irvin Solano major is Biology. He plans to use his degree to better help and improve society. Sustainability to him means, the coexisting equilibrium of humans interaction with the biosphere. As for his future career aspirations, he is currently open to any career relating to science and through this program he became interested in possibly pursuing an environmental career.

Photo of Jose Gusman
Jose Gusman's major is biological and physical sciences. He hopes to use this degree to pursue a career in becoming a chiropractor. Sustainability is a way to help our earth so it can continue providing for us and our future generations. He is a little uncertain when it comes to his future. Jose just hopes to have a job that he enjoys and can be proud of. If this program steers his career path in a different direction, he would be more than satisfied.

Photo of Julio Aleman
Julio Aleman major is in Control and instrumentation of Engineering Technology. Julio thinks Sustainability is about creating new methods or changing pre-existing ones so that they do not harm the environment or at least do less harm then they are doing currently with the use of non-renewables. Once leaving college and enters into the workforce hhopes to use what he as learned to help his community and the environment.

Photo of Rene Mays
Rene Mays is a computer science major student at the University of Houston-Downtown.She decided to pursue sustainability because of her home country, Angola. It is a very unsustainable country and her goal is to learn enough about this subject in order to teach and "recruit" people to help Angola be sustainable. Something besides computers that is of interest to her is her love of baking.

Photo of Riley Hardwick  
Riley Hardwick's major is in safety management with a minor in sustainability. To her, sustainability means creating and maintaining systems which ensure the long-term access to resources for all communities. Her aspirations for her academic career are to obtain a masters degree and a doctorate related to safety management and environmental science. As for her professional career, she hopes to obtain a position related to Health, Safety, and Environmental Engineering and eventually work her way into a management position.

SUSTAIN Scholars Fall 2019 & Summer 2020

Photo of Adelia Manuel
Adelia Manuel is a computer science major student at the University of Houston-Downtown.She decided to pursue sustainability because of her home country, Angola. It is a very unsustainable country and her goal is to learn enough about this subject in order to teach and "recruit" people to help Angola be sustainable. Something besides computers that is of interest to her is her love of baking.

Photo of Cameron Edwards

Cameron Edwards is currently an undergraduate at the University of Houston-Downtown working towards becoming a biotechnologist. Sustainability as a subject, he believes it is an obligation to take care of the environment to which we live in because it reflects who we are as a society. His interest in sustainability provides him with intellectual yet rigorous problem-solving questions that when answered can help environments around the world and space. What’s unique about him is, that he hopes to go to space in the future to assure access to space travel for humanity.

Photo of Hector Melchor
Hector Melchor is a Structural Analysis and Design Engineer Major student. He aspire to work in the construction industry where sustainability is growing in popularity. In addition, he is a veteran and single parent with strong leadership skills who is passionate about stainability. 

Photo of Herson Lazo
Herson Lazo is a Computer Science major at the University of Houston-Downtown. He is very active person and loves playing soccer, working out, and hanging out with friends. His interests in sustainability includes the implementation of greener practices, the health of low income countries, and food security for the future.

Photo of Ingrid Mejia

Ingrid Mejia is a student at UHD majoring in biology. She is interested in sustainability and its relation to subjects such as climate change, recycling, and poverty. On her free time she likse to crochet, and her favorite food is spaghetti. 

Photo of Kevin A. Muraira

Kevin A. Muraira is a USDA SUSTAIN Scholar. He joined this program in order to learn more and become  involved with the environment around him as well as the issues facing it today. He currently goes to school at UHD and studies biology with a concentration in environmental biosciences, in order to do my part as an environmental steward. He often finds himself outdoors whenever possible, hiking, photographing, or biking. Staying active gives him a strong feeling of fulfillment as well as relaxation. he is able to organize his thoughts better while enjoying the natural beauty around him without distractions. He hopes to use this opportunity as a SUSTAIN Scholar to leave a positive and sustainable impact on his local community as well as learn from others with different backgrounds.

Photo of Leonel Hernandez

Leonel Hernandez  is a SUSTAIN scholar and student at UHD. His major is biology and he is interested in getting a minor in sustainability. What interests him about sustainability is the variety of innovations that come with it in order to achieve a cleaner Earth. From composting to renewable energies, this field is one that he hopes to make a change on!


Photo of Marina Zafiris
Marina Zafiris is an undergraduate student, pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Data Science with a double minor in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Houston- Downtown. Despite the countless applications of Data Science, she has a special interest in machine learning, complexity studies, and computational sustainability. She also enjoy making TikToks with her younger siblings.

Photo of Merveilles Mvoula
Before Merveilles Mvoula enrolled in the sustainability class, she did not know much about the subject. However, taking the class have taught her that knowledge regarding sustainability is for everyone, regardless of your career goals. Every single person living on this Earth has a responsibility to protect their home and preserve it for the future. As a student, her goal is to make a difference in social and environment issue by promoting an awareness of the subject to her fellows.

Photo of Nhat Nguyen
Nhat Nguyen Engineering Technology major with a concentration in Process Control and Instrumentation. University of Houston-Downtown, where he is majoring in Control and Instrumentation Engineering Technology. Three years as an undergraduate with strong background in technology applications, fundamental process control and instrumentation. He has performed many key broadly defined projects and worked with lots of instruments. He is experienced in industrial simulations and computer applications. His concentration is industrial automation. He is passionate in sustainability and eager to apply the technologies to solve climate-change problems.