Senior Profile: Kennedy Lopez-Keys (SEAS '18)



Name: Kennedy Lopez-Keys

Major & School: Mechanical Engineering, SEAS


Congratulations on graduating! What are your post-college plans?

I will be starting a full-time position as an engineer, designing and supervising the construction of city water systems in Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami.


What’s your funniest college memory?

My funniest memories are the late nights I spent with my roommates, sitting at the kitchen table, procrastinating our work, and chatting until 3 am.


What is your biggest fear about entering the real world?

Being away from the friends I’ve made here and being a Latinx engineer in a white-male dominated field.


What is one thing you’ll be happy to leave behind?

Twin-XL beds


What is the best opportunity you’ve received in your time at Columbia?

The opportunity to leave the small town I grew up in. I have been able to meet so many people, experience incredible things this city has to offer, and prove to the people who didn’t believe in me that a first-generation, low-income student can succeed.


Do you have a favorite professor?

Kristen Meyers. Prof. Meyers is one of only two women professors I have had at the engineering school. She’s inspiring, funny, and very friendly.


Are you planning on pursuing your clubs/hobbies after college?

Being in cheerleading has made me realize that I love dancing so I plan on continuing dance.


What advice do you have for underclassmen?

Don’t get too hung up on the academics and enjoy this last taste of freedom from adulthood while you can. Your GPA won’t matter in a few years so don’t let it bother you now; have fun.


What do you still have to do left in your time here?

Mudd Rooftop!


Last question: Are you happy or content with where you are right now, as a person?

Yes. Columbia has made me more independent and also made me appreciate where I come from. South Texas raised me and Beeville, TX will always be a part of me that I am proud to claim. Columbia has helped me become a better friend, a critical thinker, and challenged me in more ways than one. I believe that I leave this school more confident and capable than when I entered and that is what is important to me.


Thank you, Kennedy for your amazing reflections and insights. We wish you the best of luck in the post-grad world!