Rosemary Diaz

Class of 2000 Alumnus, BS Physics, JPL scientist, Optics

Rosemary Diaz, Class of 2000, leads a team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, where she has worked for the past decade to design and deliver instruments for space applications.

“My parents are not engineers or scientists. It just happened that in high school I was better in math and science. I loved chemistry, and my high school physics teacher was great. I thought, ‘I really like math and science!’

I couldn’t afford to live away from home, so the Dominguez Hills location was a big factor in deciding to go there. The small classes at Dominguez Hills made it easy to have a conversation with the professors, to ask questions and to just get to know them. They really care about what they do, and they really care about the students. They even helped me with my resume.

I was the only woman in my graduating class who was a Physics major, but I always felt very welcome. The small class size was perfect for me. My professors knew me and they helped me get a summer job, which led to my career at JPL.”