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From the Classroom to the Basketball Court, Washkewicz College of Engineering Students Score Big

Sara Guerrurio, Shadiya Thomas, Carmen Villalobos Garcia, Grace Ellis, Colbi MaplesDerivatives are used daily by five Washkewicz College of Engineering students, both in the classroom and on the court. The reigning Horizon League Championship Basketball Team is made up of five student athletes in the engineering college. (Pictured left to right.) Sara Guerreiro #12 (Mechanical Engineering), Shadiya Thomas #3 (Computer Engineering), Carmen Villalobos Garcia #13 (Computer Science), Grace Ellis #4 (Mechanical Engineering) and Colbi Maples #11 (Electrical Engineering) play a significant amount of minutes this season for the Cleveland State University (CSU) Vikings and are currently in first place in the conference.  “I have enjoyed having engineers on our roster. They are great problem solvers. They are very task orientated and have a very high ambition to be successful. I think this translates well to our program and the amount of success we have had over the last few years,” stated Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Chris Kielsmeier.

All five student athletes began their academic and athletic careers at other universities but chose to take advantage of an opportunity to transfer to the well-recognized Washkewicz College of Engineering, at Cleveland State University that had a need for their skills on the court. Each student has joined our program within the last two seasons.Carmen Villalobos Garcia women's basketball #13 Just listen to computer science major Carmen Villalobos Garcia. “I chose to come to CSU primarily because of the combination of a strong basketball program and an excellent computer science program. CSU not only offered a great opportunity for me to contribute to a winning basketball team but also provided a robust environment for my academic pursuits in computer science. The technology and resources they offered me at CSU played a big difference when deciding about which school I was going to attend.” Shadiya Thomas said, “I came to CSU to be a part of a basketball program that was going to challenge me and force me to be better in every aspect of my life. I also came because of the Engineering program here at CSU. This program is where I knew I belonged academically.” 

CSU Engineering Student Athletes aren’t exclusive to basketball, but with 42% of the current roster being engineering majors, basketball is the highest percentage currently at CSU. Athletics brought them here, but their academics is what keeps them here.

Shadiya ThomasGarcia shared, “Being a part of the Women's basketball team at CSU has been a transformative experience. It helped develop qualities such as discipline, teamwork, resilience, leadership and communication. In addition, sharing moments among my teammates and coaching staff have contributed to my personal growth on and off the court. Facing adversity is an inevitable part of life, and being on the team has been essential in developing my ability to respond to challenges effectively. It has taught me that resilience and determination are crucial skills that extend beyond the basketball court.”

After graduation, Garcia aspires to pursue a master’s degree in computer science. “I would love to work in some field related with cybersecurity and networking,” she said. Thomas shared, “After graduation I want to get heavily involved in the Cyber Security world.” 

colbi maples womens basketball number 11 Grace Ellis women's basketball #4 Sara Guerreiro women's basketball #12

Per Coach Kielsmeier, “Our program takes great pride in allowing our student-athletes to major in whatever area they desire to. There can be challenges with this but with the right people and support you can be extremely successful both on and off the court. We are also fortunate to have unbelievable support from the college of engineering.”

“We are very fortunate to have these five outstanding student-athletes represent our program. Not only are they great basketball players but they truly prioritize their academics and do an unbelievable job of managing a rigorous class load.”

Check out the schedule and join in the cheering here.

Learn more about our players and Cleveland State University Viking Athletics here.

About CSU and the Washkewicz College of Engineering 

Cleveland State University is a public institution in Cleveland, Ohio. The university has over 16,000 students enrolled in programs at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Washkewicz College of Engineering offers graduate and undergraduate programs. The undergraduate programs are accredited by ABET. The College is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary. Visit to support and engage in activities. To learn more about the College, please visit: