Assistant professor of practice Rosa Maria Rojas was not always a fan of mining. When she was a teenager, Barrick Gold, the mining company her parents worked for, moved her family to a small mining town, which she resented. Later, she took an introductory course on mining engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima, which led to a Master of Science in mining engineering from the University of Arizona and a career specializing in remote mine operation.
Rojas recently received the 2018 Outstanding Young Professional award from the mining and exploration division of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. She is the first Peruvian to win the award.
“Don’t exclude yourself because you think you’re different, or because you don’t think you have the same skills as other people,” she said. “Be resilient, don’t give up and give yourself the chance to feel like part of the majority.”