Marina Mendez

Marina Mendez '23 graduates with a civil engineering and an Integrated Business and Engineering finance degree.

Marina Mendez Embraces Campus and Community Involvement

She graduates with a civil engineering and an Integrated Business and Engineering finance degree.

Photography by

Christa Neu

A native of Burgos, Spain, Marina Mendez ’23 grew up observing her family’s construction business. When she came to Lehigh, she majored in civil engineering and finance in the Integrated Business and Engineering Honors Program (IBE), with its emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of business and engineering.

“I knew I wanted to build things,” Mendez says.

That dream is coming true: After graduation she will relocate to Toronto, Ontario to work for Ferrovial, a multinational company specializing in transportation infrastructure. She will be part of a team building a new $6 billion subway line in the city.

Marina Mendez.

Marina Mendez during her summer internship in London with Ferrovial. Photo: Contributed.

“Lehigh has taught me you can accomplish anything if you put in the work, the effort and the perseverance to get things done,” she says.

In her four years at Lehigh, Mendez embraced campus and community involvement, with relationships at the heart of her involvements.

As a student athlete, she has been captain of the golf team. “I think my role on the team is not necessarily scoring the best, but it’s providing support and leadership within the team. It’s being the rock and someone they can lean on, both for my coaches and my teammates.”

That philosophy extends to her work as Head Gryphon at the Singleton, Hitch and Maida residence hall complex. She supports and supervises 15 student Gryphons who coordinate the on-campus living experience for more than 350 students. She took on the role in her junior year, after being a Gryphon as a sophomore.

Marina Mendez

Marina Mendez '23 has been captain of the golf team.

“I always like to challenge myself, so being Head Gryphon was the next step,” she says. “I want to support the Gryphons, help them understand the experience, get the most out of it and develop as a person as much as possible.”

Mendez also is active in the Newman Center, Lehigh’s campus Catholic community. “My faith is important to me,” she says. Other roles include serving in the Student Athlete Council and being a student representative on the University Committee on Discipline.

She becomes most passionate when talking about her work as an Admissions Fellow, where she interacts with prospective students.

“I love Lehigh and I want to share how special Lehigh is,” Mendez says. She conducts interviews, participates in student panels, and answers questions about the Lehigh community.

One of the things that she shares with prospective students is the wealth of opportunities available at the university, such as the Martindale Student Associates Honors Program, which provides a fully funded opportunity to study abroad. In summer 2022, Mendez was part of a select group of 12 Lehigh juniors traveling to Denmark. They met with leaders in government, business, social service and more to examine the opportunities and challenges facing the country. Mendez’s final essay about her experience focuses on how seawater level rise will impact Denmark.

Marina Mendez

Mendez also is active in the Newman Center, Lehigh’s campus Catholic community. Photo: Contributed

Her work in her major helped her to earn an internship in London with Ferrovial, which she describes as a “boots on the ground” position as field engineer working on the construction of tunnels. The internship led to the job with the firm that she will begin post-graduation.

“I’m hoping to get the same kind of role as a field engineer and spend one to two years getting to know everything there is to know about field engineering, and eventually work my way up to project management.”

As she moves into the professional world, she says she will remember another important lesson she learned at Lehigh: “If I put in the work and make a consistent effort, good things will come.”

–Story by Vicki Mayk

Photography by

Christa Neu

Related Stories

students toss mortar boards in air

Lehigh Commencement 2023 Highlights

Watch highlights of the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies as Lehigh holds its 155th Commencement.

CJ McCollum at graduation

CJ McCollum ’13 to Lehigh’s Class of 2023: 'Your March to an Independent Future Begins Today’

The National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Pelicans point guard, entrepreneur and philanthropist delivered keynote remarks at Lehigh's 155th Commencement.