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34 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 Feature Interviews by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Elsewhere in this issue, we've discussed the IEEE Rising Stars Conference, its origins, and the scheduled training and events. One key takeaway was the pace of the event: fast, high- energy, and whirling—just as you'd expect from young people somewhere in the transi - tion from teenager to adult. If their individual excitement about attending was like a photon of light energy, then over the course of the weekend, those photons aligned and collimated just as they would inside a laser chamber, result - ing in a unified power and energy in the conference as everyone fell into phase with each other. That's what ended up happen- ing with an ad hoc panel interview I put together toward the end of the event. I had intended to sit down at a table in the main ballroom with seven students to hear their perspectives on Rising Stars, but that isn't exactly how it played out. Nolan Johnson: I'm here at the IEEE Rising Stars Conference, sitting around a table with a group of attendees to get some feedback on their expe- riences. First, could you each tell me where you go to school and what you're studying, and if you're not in school, what you're doing? Justus Engstrom: I go to the New Mexico Insti- tute of Mining and Technology, and I'm study- ing electrical engineering. Joe Sandoval: I study electrical engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Anthony Salazar: I go to New Mexico Tech and am studying electrical engineering. Eric Bressinger: I'm studying electrical engineering and music at Santa Clara University. Stone Wilkes: I'm also at New Mexico Tech studying electrical engineering. Simon Gebrai: I'm studying electrical engineering at Santa Clara University. Gregorio Valdivia: I'm actually a young profes- sional. I'm a technical specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is a public assistance division. Nolan: How did you find out about Rising Stars, and what were your objectives when you came to this conference? Justus: I heard about this through our local professional IEEE chapter when they recom- Rising Stars at Rising Stars

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