Student speaker Alamin is also a world-class judo athlete


This year’s Winter Commencement student speaker is Yasmin Alamin, who is graduating this December with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering.  

shot of Yasmin Alamin in grad gear
Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

Alamin, who grew up in Northern Virginia, is the only girl among four siblings and has always had her mind set on achieving something great. She was homeschooled by her parents and attended Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) before coming to George Mason University.

During high school, she played viola and swam competitively. Music taught her to listen, while swimming taught her to be comfortable with the uncomfortable—both of which lessons she put to good use in college.

She also competed in high school robotics programs, which led to her interest in engineering. She said she enjoyed the magic feeling of solving problems with something she could build. To her, it was a way to fix the world one engineering problem at a time.

While Alamin was at NOVA, she was selected as a NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar, which led to two semesters of internship work at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Initially, Alamin was interested in an aerospace engineering degree, at the suggestion of one of her NASA mentors she instead chose to pursue mechanical engineering.

Outside of school, Alamin enjoys acrylic landscape painting. Additionally, she is a competitive first-degree black belt judo athlete with a U.S. senior national title. She is currently ranked second in the nation for her weight class. Judo has enabled her to make friends all over the world—from Mongolia to Brazil—and be both humbler and happier. 

After graduation, she will be working as a liquefied natural gas facility design engineer for the U.S. Department of Transportation and training to be a world-class judo athlete. Eventually, Alamin aims to become a licensed professional engineer and to run her own engineering consulting firm.