Outstanding Collegiate Member

Aerith Cruz

Michigan Technological University

For academic achievement balanced by technical and leadership skill; for dedicated promotion of diversity and inclusion initiatives; and for inspiring others as both mentor and role model.

Aerith Cruz is a third-year management information systems and statistics student at Michigan Technological University and will be completing a B.S. in management information systems later this year. Her studies touch on many aspects of engineering, including programming, database and data analytics, process automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Cruz is adept in programming languages and data analysis software such as Python, Java, SQL, Microsoft SQL, AWS, Snowflake, and more. Additionally, she has used the Six Sigma, Lean Agile, and Scrum project management systems while working with engineering teams to optimize and streamline processes.

During her 3M internship, Cruz streamlined the communication process for its Data Center IT infrastructure maintenance, affecting more than 80 critical applications and services across the company. This improved visualization and minimized security gaps while providing insightful information to each end user. She also automated a data extraction process for an analytics dashboard, resulting in faster identification of key data and refresh times. Her success was such that 3M invited her to return in 2023, where she analyzed cybersecurity metrics to help create a Cloud Security Data Lake for reporting to the CISO and 3M board of directors.

Since her first year in college, Cruz has been an active leader in the Society of Women Engineers Michigan Technological University Collegiate Section. She began as the campus and community chair and was instrumental in completing a SWE program development grant for developing and hosting engineering activities for K-8 students. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she rapidly pivoted the event to a virtual format and presented her work at WE21.

Cruz has served as the Michigan Tech section’s vice president and president and took a central role in establishing its endowed scholarship at Michigan Tech. This fall, she will serve as the interim treasurer, developing the section’s financial strategy. She will also chair the Evening with Industry event, bringing industry representatives and diverse students together to network and learn.

Cruz believes in service to others. She is active on the Center for Diversity and Inclusion President’s Council. She is involved in FIRST Robotics and mentors teams and volunteers at regional competitions. She has mentored her high school team and a local SWENexter who became a FIRST dean’s list semifinalist. Cruz is also a founding member of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers at Michigan Tech, where she has been involved with the Parade of Nations.

Cruz is one of the very few students honored with a Michigan Tech Leading Scholar Award. She received SWE’s Rising Star Award as a first-year student and was selected to serve on the Student Leadership Award Committee, where she co-hosted the Student Leadership Awards. For her contributions, Cruz received the President’s Award for Leadership.

Cruz loves fencing. As president of Michigan Tech’s Fencing Club, has increased its membership fivefold. She also enjoys skiing, swing dancing, and, most of all, traveling to see the Northern Lights.