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Student Profiles

Victor Catala-Gentil
Victor Catala-Gentil

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2024

Victor Calata-Gentil has his sights set on his future, but his feet are firmly planted in mentorship and paying it forward.

As a second-year mechanical engineering student, Victor admits he is having a pretty good year so far. He is excited to be on campus and even more thrilled to be taking classes in the new Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation. He came to Santa Clara University as a first-generation LEAD Scholar and credits the friendships he made through the program for keeping him grounded. He is also very grateful for the financial assistance he received through the Santa Clara Fund, enhancing his financial aid and student engagement programs like the Ignatian Center’s Thriving Neighbors Community Fellowship Program. 

Victor’s involvement in the program stems from his own experience. He says, “That's my way of giving back. When I was in high school, I received a lot of help from my counselors and teachers.” Now, he mentors two high school students living in the Greater Washington Neighborhood of San Jose. It is a community filled with bright, strong, and resilient people. Most are immigrants who risked their lives coming to a land that they believed would allow them to support their children’s educational aspirations. Victor is helping them achieve their dreams, just as he is aiming to fulfill his own. 

When asked about his favorite classes, he mentions physics. He lights up as he states, “There's just so much we learn. And when we discuss new concepts, you can see applications everywhere.” He also is a proud member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and enjoys connecting with other mechanical engineering students who he learns from as well—he’s currently working on a 3D printed bridge project with classmates. Victor also admits how much he likes aerospace, and believes he may want to pursue a career in the industry. He adds, “With an engineering background, you can give back in so many ways.”

As for his thoughts on Santa Clara’s Jesuit tradition and mission, Victor states, “It spans across all majors. If everyone is able to get the same well-rounded education, they will learn to apply it later in their lives—it's going to be good for all.”

-Carrie Jensen