Werner Parrilla, Bucknell University

Featured Scholar

Spring 2012

As a senior studying civil engineering and economics at Bucknell University, Werner Parrilla is keenly interested in discovering practical solutions to the question of global sustainability, specifically as it relates to business and human interaction.

A leader on campus and a member of the third Posse from D.C. to enroll at Bucknell, Werner founded a campus chapter of the Society of Hispanic Engineers during his junior year to create a support system to help students like himself navigate the challenging engineering course load.

“Being an engineering major at Bucknell is very demanding,” he says. “A lot of students drop out of the program because they can’t make it academically. I wanted to apply the Posse model of group support to help uplift fellow engineering students academically and socially.”

Werner has also laid the groundwork for the organization to begin to mentor high school students in the local community and support their exploration of the STEM fields.

In exploring his own career, Werner has held a variety of internships, from working with firms that focus on sustainable investments and environmental engineering, to interning with the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear security in the United States and around the world.

The oldest of three boys, Werner was born in New York, where he lived until age five before he and his family returned to Guatemala. Werner came back to the United States at the age of 17 and settled in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he attended Parkdale High School. His younger brother Edgardo is also a Posse Scholar at Bucknell.

“As different as high school and adjusting to life in the States and in D.C. was for me is as different as Bucknell was for me when I first got here,” says Werner. “But with the moral support of my Posse, Bucknell became my home.”

As he prepares to graduate this year and lend his talents to improving the world, Werner says he hopes to return to his native Guatemala one day.

“Although I’ve lost a lot of my connection to Guatemala I still have a strong desire to return and help fix the problems I see there.”