During her time on Rocky Top, Iliane Domenech’s mission has been to help other Latina women on campus see their inner beauty and accomplish all their dreams.
That desire to help came from her mother, a strong Latina woman who always taught Domenech to have the confidence, strength, and determination to do hard things in life.
“I know that many don’t have that strong figure in their life, so that’s why I want to help others,” said Domenech. “If I can pass on the lessons that I have learned, then I can encourage other Latina women so that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. We all have it within ourselves to do good and do things we didn’t think we could; sometimes we just need a bit of help along the way.”
The opportunity to help fellow Latina women first appealed to Domenech in the fall of 2021 when she joined UT’s chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. The organization provided a way for Domenech, who is described by some as an advocate for the power of sisterhood, to connect and build relationships with other Latina women. A year after joining, Domenech was elected president of the chapter for the 2022-2023 calendar year and quickly utilized the sorority to encourage and empower students across campus.
“Becoming a sister, especially being president, has been one of the most challenging but best things I have done at UT,” said Domenech. “Being able to be involved in the community, on campus, and within my own organization has built me up and taught me so many lessons that I will take with me to my career and beyond.”
During her tenure as president, the sorority was named Most Innovative Program for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters, became a three-star chapter, and welcomed five new sisters. Domenech was also nominated as the Sorority and Fraternity Life Person of the Year for her council.
Domenech will forever be grateful for her time leading the sorority and having the opportunity to be engaged in so many impactful campus activities. Proud of the legacy she is leaving behind, she prepares to pass the Torch to the new leaders of her chapter, excited to see it continue to grow and succeed. “It made me step out of my comfort zone and helped me meet so many different people from so many different walks of life,” said Domenech. “I will cherish the memories that I have made for the rest of my life.”
Domenech will be celebrating her biggest personal accomplishment this Thursday as she walks in the Tickle College of Engineering commencement ceremony. She will officially graduate with her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in the summer after finishing up a couple of classes, and then will be moving to Seattle to work as a production engineer for the Boeing Company.
“I have been able to do a lot of good during my time here at UT, but I don’t think anything can top walking across that stage and realizing that all my hard work over the past five years has all been worth it,” she said.
Domenech gratefully acknowledges the support she received from the Dwight Hutchins Engineering Diversity Programs office.
“I firmly believe that without the support from that office and its staff, I would not be graduating—much less with a job,” said Domenech. “They have just been so amazing in so many ways. Whether it’s been career advice, life advice, food, or a good crying session, they have been there through it all. They made all of us feel seen and appreciated. They made sure that we knew that we were capable of doing anything.”
Domenech wants future Latina Volunteers to stay confident and always speak with pride.
“You can do this! You have a voice, and that voice deserves to be heard and you deserve a seat at the table,” she said. “You are much stronger and braver than you know, and you can do hard things. Keep your head up and be proud of who you are—because you are what this world needs!”
In a few short weeks, Domenech will begin a new chapter in life that will take her across the country, but she will always be a Volunteer and Rocky Top will always be her Home Sweet Home.
Kathy Williams (email@example.com, 865-974-8615)