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2013 Scholars


Tara Mars


Graduation Year: 2017
College: Cullen College of Engineering
Major:  Petroleum Engineering
High School: Cypress Ranch High School
Hometown: Cypress, TX

About Me

I am excited to be at the University of Houston. I love hiking, biking, and just being in the outdoors. Visiting national parks with my family is one of my favorite things to do, Yellowstone being my favorite. I love to play the piano and have been playing for the past 14 years. Now that I am older I truly understand the beauty of it. Participating in teams, tutoring younger kids, and helping other people have also always been things I really enjoy doing. In school I like all subjects, but I am especially interested in math and science. I have always been interested in having a better understanding of the physical world around me. My family is the most important thing to me and I couldn't ask for better parents, who support me in everything I do and never stop helping me along the way. My brother is my best friend and has been my rock through everything. Without their influence, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Campus and Community Involvement

On campus, I have participated in intramural indoor soccer. I am a member of AADE (American Association of Drilling Engineers) and SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) where I attend professional advancement meetings and network with business professionals. In my spare time I homeschool (tutor) a high school student in Algebra, Biology, and English. I also tutor other high school students in various math and sciences such as Calculus. In addition to this I tutor for the SAT.

Awards and Honors

Aside from being the valedictorian of my high school and receiving the Valedictorian scholarship, I was awarded the BP scholarship for my freshman year. I have also been awarded the American Petroleum Institute and American Gas Association Scholarships. I am on the Engineering Dean’s List for Spring 2014 – Fall 2015.

Study Abroad

Four years ago I went to India, and the trip was truly amazing. Getting to experience the Indian culture firsthand, such as meeting different people, attending a traditional Indian wedding, wearing traditional Indian clothing, and trying all of the different types of food, has made me want to experience cultures in other countries as well. In the summer of 2014 I went on a two week study abroad trip to France and Spain with the Honors College. That was my first trip to Europe and it was amazing. Since I took four years of Spanish in high school, I was able to use those language skills in Spain. Having the opportunity to experience other cultures is what I look forward to the most.


I am doing research in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston under Dr. Jacinta Conrad during the summer of 2015 and 2016. I am investigating the roles of nanoparticles and polymers on enhancing oil recovery. To do this I create micro-scale models of porous media to simulate real life conditions.

Future Endeavors

I plan to pursue challenging and satisfying work in the Petroleum Industry.