Engineering at Union Best Science Lab Facilities
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(Princeton Review)

Catching up with...Rebecca (Becky) Cortez

Publication Date

Rebecca (Becky) Cortez is a professor of mechanical engineering and director of Engineering at Union. She also serves as a faculty trustee. Her research interests include the morphological and electrical characterization of nanoscale materials and thin films as well as additive manufacturing of metals. She enjoys teaching courses dealing with materials science, nanotechnology, and emerging technologies. She also likes to involve her students in her research. Professor Cortez has been at Union since 2007 when she welcomed the opportunity to join family in upstate New York. She enjoys living in the Adirondack Park and appreciates the wildlife and peacefulness of the region. She values the change in seasons and looks forward to the vibrant fall foliage and outside seasonal activities each year.

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING: My husband shares the day’s weather report with me every morning (from various sources such as the Windy app) so we can plan our daily travels. Eventually, I find my way to email.

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens – an annual favorite!

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED: My trifecta for living: “Remember the Golden Rule,” “A thankful heart is a happy heart,” and “Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished”

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS: Standing inside, near the center of the Nott, and staring up at the mesmerizing ceiling

GO-TO-BREAKFAST: Eggs and tortillas (I’m a breakfast person!)


FAVORITE PODCAST: No favorite – I enjoy listening to a variety of those I run across; it depends on what I am in the mood for.

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD: Metalworking. I have a strong appreciation for the handiwork of metal artisans from the past and all of the creativity they brought to their projects, whether large or small. What a fun skill to have.

ANOTHER SUBJECT YOU WISH YOU COULD TEACH: Music. Several of my family members were musicians, and I wish I could have joined them as a fellow performer and teach others the joy of playing a musical instrument.

BEST EXCUSE YOU EVER HEARD FOR A LATE ASSIGNMENT: The best excuse is the one offered before the deadline.