“Infrastructure Is Vital To National Defense”: A Civil Engineering Major With Dreams Of Helping People

Isabel Petrin


Isabel Petrin was born in November 2002, and grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida, with her parents and her two older brothers. Her grandma was an immigrant from Mexico who learned English working as a lunch lady in a public school. Isabel enjoyed growing up in Florida, referring to the state as a “melting pot,” and noting that she felt tied to her culture. In high school, she ran track and cross country, and wrestled, learning discipline in the process. At the end of her junior year, she became interested in attending West Point, and eventually arrived at the Academy for R-Day “sight unseen” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the lock-down, her high school graduation was held at the Daytona Motor Speedway, and after receiving her diploma, she was allowed to take a lap on the track. Due to the pandemic, Isabel’s parents had to drop her off at the Prep School, which she remembers as being very emotional. She is majoring in Civil Engineering and hopes to join the Army Corps of Engineers, planning on one day building infrastructure to help people weather hurricanes. She considers infrastructure to be vital to national defense. Militarily, she has done well, and appreciated developing her leadership style during Yearling year. During her Cow summer, she served as a CFT (Cadet Field Training) Platoon Sergeant, relishing the challenge of peer leadership in a field environment. She also completed CTLT (Cadet Troop Leader Training) at Ft. Irwin, serving in an Infantry slot. Currently, she is serving as the Brigade ACT Executive Officer, working to prevent Cadets from engaging in harmful behavior. She is also a member of Officer’s Christian Fellowship (OCF) and competes on her company Sandhurst team. She hopes to branch Engineer and one day serve in an Army Corps of Engineers District assignment. For anyone interested in attending the Academy, she recommends challenging yourself every day, noting that it is alright to fail, but it is important to have a growth mindset. She considers the Long Gray Line as a family who really care about each other.


topics West Point History Women in Service Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie
interviewer David Siry
date 07 September 2023


name Isabel Petrin
institution USMA
graduation year 2024
specialty Hispanic Heritage Month