Aiming for the Stars

How donor support fueled Amber Jozwiak's bright future in mechanical engineering

Amber Jozwiak will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in May. Reflecting on her academic journey, and also looking ahead to the future, she’s grateful for those who have helped to make her trip easier. 

“I started my freshman year during Covid,” Jozwiak said. “It was a very isolated time, and my only in-person class was in engineering. The professor put us in small groups to work on projects, and those classmates are now my senior design capstone group. We formed connections and working relationships that have lasted.” 

Jozwiak graduated 18th out of 900 students at her high school, and that earned her a four-year Academic Excellence Scholarship to the University of Houston. It’s a good thing, too; she has three younger brothers, and her parents’ college savings account can only stretch so far.  

“I grew up knowing I’d need to find a way to fund my education through work, grants or loans,” she said. “Receiving financial assistance has made all the difference. One of my brothers now wants to follow me and study engineering at UH. He’s heard me talk about my positive experiences and wants to do the same.”

Not every class has been easy. “We all have different learning styles, and at times I’ve been at odds with how a class was managed,” she said. “But I took advantage of after-hours services, and that helped me gain my confidence and discover what parts of engineering I love and excel at. Learning about dynamic control of mechanical systems, both linear and non-linear, has really opened my eyes.” 

Once settled into her classes, Jozwiak learned about the William A. Brookshire Scholarship. “A professor referred me to the program,” she reflected. “And that in itself is a great reason to get to know the instructors at school. They know the resources that will help. Now, I can choose on-campus jobs that let me do the kind of work I like to do, rather than struggle with unappealing options.”

Jozwiak works on campus as a freshman resident assistant in one of UH’s dorms. She loves being able to answer questions from new students regarding classes, dorm life and whatever else may come up.  

Jozwiak plans to pursue a career in aerospace engineering, and her network of support at UH guided her to two internship opportunities at Boeing Aerospace and Webber LLC. Her internships focused on auto and aerospace experiences. “I’ve been able to apply the knowledge I’ve learned in class with on-the-job training, and it’s shown me how my education fits with my career goals.” 

Following graduation in May 2024, Jozwiak will begin graduate school at UH, pursuing two master’s degrees: one in aerospace engineering and the other in space architecture.   

“Did you know that UH is the only university in the country that has a space architecture master’s degree program? I’m so glad it’s right here in Houston."

"I hope to stay in the Houston area, but I’ll go wherever my career requires,” she said. “The Brookshire Scholarship has made so many of my career goals possible.” 

She’s off to a good start. For her master’s degrees, Jozwiak has already lined up another internship at Boeing where her focus will be international space station payloads.