Cheyon Sheen in front of Boise City Hall

Cheyon Sheen on Engineering and the Student Experience

For Cheyon Sheen, buildings, streets and sidewalks are more than commonplace features: They’re parts of a framework she can use to improve people’s quality of life. With her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, which she expects to earn in May ’24, she hopes to shift how people think of sustainable infrastructure and the environment.

“How can I help people live better?” Sheen said. “That’s what motivates me.”

Sheen’s chief interest is the intersection of engineering and policy. With a position on the inside, she wants to serve underserved communities, building the infrastructure that will propel them to self-sufficiency, sustainability, and prosperity, while reflecting their cultures and needs. Between 30% and 40% of waste comes from construction, and 6 billion gallons of treated water are lost daily due to water main ruptures. These are just a few of the ways in which infrastructure presents challenges — and suggests solutions. Minoring in environmental studies, Sheen seeks to preserve and protect the environments both surrounding and within public, rural lands.

A high school internship with Twin Falls, Idaho-based engineering firm EHM Engineers introduced her to her field of study. At Boise State University, this Truman Scholar is working to make her dreams of marrying her interests in engineering and the environment a reality.

After falling for the campus environment within her first week, she found a sense of belonging. Now student body president of the Associated Students of Boise State University, she’s working with fellow students to improve the student experience and the university.

Time abroad in Europe and South Korea has given her well-rounded experiences in education, and certificates in American Sign Language, French and Korean. For her senior semesters, Sheen returns to Boise from a summer internship with Turner Construction in Los Angeles.

Once she finishes her degree, Sheen plans to pursue her engineering license by working with engineers in the field before returning to school for her Master’s of Science in Engineering Management, or a Master’s of Science in Public Policy. Her sights are set on Stanford University.

Sheen considers her interests in engineering to be niche, but at Boise State, she feels supported. Invested in her success to the fullest, professors help point her in the right direction, course-wise, and recommend resources, encouraging her to be proactive in her education. 

“I feel so incredibly blessed to have learned what it means to be a part of a college community that supports me for who I am, and who I can become,” Sheen said. “Everything might not be given to you on a silver platter, and Boise State has taught me how to look for resources in things I want to do, connect them together, work hard to open doors, and fall in love with learning in the process.”

Scholarships are catalysts, empowering students to overcome obstacles, achieve their full potential, and contribute to our thriving learning community.  We aim to ensure that a quality education remains within reach for all students, regardless of their circumstances. We’re committed to breaking down barriers and empowering the next generation of Broncos as they shape the future of Idaho. To learn more, click here.

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