Rachel Bakken ’09 Romero

When Rachel Bakken ’09 Romero graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a Mechanical emphasis, she was onto bigger and better things. After graduation, she moved to Denver and accepted a position at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Romero describes the mission of NREL “is to advance the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies.” She now works as the Energy Engineer and Project Leader.

Over the year at NREL, Romero’s diligent work and expertise in the field has allowed her to move gracefully through promotions and added responsibilities. She currently manages many ongoing projects and initiatives at the NREL. The work Romero does is having a direct impact on the environment and the way we use renewable energy. She is solving problems and creating solutions in renewable energy. In 2014, Romero went back to school at the University of Colorado Boulder where she received a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering. She also received her Professional Engineering Certification. 

Romero is a member of the professional organization, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). There she is a chair for the Young Engineers program. In addition to ASHRAE, Romero has been a member of the Philanthropic Education Organization for many years.

Hope provided me with a well-rounded education; my skills include excellent writing, an understanding of cultural topics, and more. This has been invaluable for the variety of work that I have done. Hope prepared me to be not only a professional worker, but a leader in my community”

While at Hope College Romero took full advantage of her liberal arts education by immersing herself into many areas of campus life. Romero swam for four years on the women’s swim team and she earned three varsity letters during her swim career. At the 10 Under 10 Young Alumni Panel, Romero reflected on how being involved in sports as well as other co-curricular activities helped her to learn valuable skills like time management. She also noted that she enjoyed being a part of many aspects of Hope’s campus life.  She also was involved in various clubs such as the Knitting Club and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.

Romero is still living in Colorado with her husband Diego Romero ’09. Diego was also a recipient of the 2019 10 Under 10 Award. Together they have a three-year- old son, Collin. Diego and Rachel have stayed connected with Hope College over the years despite living in Colorado. Hope College is very thankful for her continued dedication and support of her alma mater.

Rachel Bakken ’09 Romero receives the 10 Under 10 Award from Sara DeVries, Community Relations Manager at Herrick District Library (former Associate Director of Career Services at Hope College)

Hope College is proud to give Rachel Romero the 2019 10 Under 10 Award. The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!

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