Elizabeth Cisneros Tlaxcala wants to make art but not on a canvas.
“Since I was a kid, I always leaned toward building, drawing and creating. I loved playing with Legos and drawing different facades for my dream house,” she said. “Later on, I was motivated by the beauty of the massive structures in big cities such as New York and Mexico City. Living in a small town all my life, I dreamed of making an impact. I wanted to make a structure, a sculpture where people are invited to feel the surroundings of it, and I wanted to learn how to accomplish that.”
After her family moved from Mexico to the U.S., Cisneros Tlaxcala didn’t know where to start her study of architecture. It was her father’s coworkers who highly recommended College of DuPage.
“COD gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge toward my career. Its faculty have always been by my side whenever I needed their help to solve a problem or any doubt I would have about a task or assignment,” she said. “COD also gave me an amazing chance to meet new people and build good relations with the faculty and students. It made it so easy for me to transition from high school to college and from one country to another.”
After earning her Associate in Applied Science degree in Architecture, Cisneros Tlaxcala transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she finished her bachelor’s degree. She currently is in her second year of the Master of Architecture Advanced Standing program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and is working for an architecture firm in downtown Chicago. Her career goal is to become a licensed architect and work internationally.
“Besides building commercial structures, I want to help people in need. I want to find ways to build low-maintenance houses for families in poor areas,” she said. “Currently my main target area is Mexico, since it’s the country that raised me, and I have a need to give something back.”
Cisneros Tlaxcala is happy that her architectural journey began at College of DuPage. In fact, she returned in summer 2018 to enroll in the Design Build course, in which students created a gathering pavilion and installed it on campus.
“My advice to prospective students is to don’t think twice. COD is such a great school with a good environment to socialize and study,” she said. “The Architecture program is very well known in the area and when people know where we come from, they automatically set the bar for us because they know the quality of COD students and how well our professors have developed the curriculum. The Architecture program is full of interaction with related topics, design, materials and much more. It prepares you for your next steps.
“COD led me to be the person I am today. The faculty that joined me in my journey will be forever in my heart and I will always thank them for any success I achieve in my life.”