Spring 2017

Her Mission: Finding the Best Solution

Student Profile

Lucy Aragon
The best part of being at WSU, Lucy Aragon says, is
building relationships with members of the university
community. “My advisor, professors and my fellow
students are amazing people who teach me new
things every day. They encourage me to become

Lucy Aragon didn’t always enjoy her math classes. “I moved to my grandparents’ house when I was 10 years old,” she says, “and in my new school math was a challenge. My class was working on topics that were not familiar to me.” However, it didn’t take long for her to overcome this challenge. She has for some time now counted math, physics and chemistry as favorite areas of study. 

A native of Peru, Aragon is working on a doctorate in industrial and manufacturing engineering at Wichita State after earning a bachelor’s degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a master’s degree from Clemson University in South Carolina. 

“My favorite thing in engineering is that we attempt to design solutions to solve problems,” says Aragon, whose father, an agricultural engineer, introduced her to the field. “This can help to reduce costs not only for those related to the problem but for society as well.”

At WSU, Aragon works in the Health Systems Engineering Lab. Her research interests include analytics applications to patient safety and healthcare quality, and analysis of healthcare operations. 

While working at her alma mater in Peru after earning a master’s degree, Aragon came across some publications about the design and improvement of healthcare systems. “That is initially how I became interested,” she says. “This can have an impact on a healthcare system anywhere, but in particular I hope it can improve the quality of healthcare services for those who need it most.”

Also at Pontificia Universidad, she was part of a research team that worked to find the optimal location for a hospital in Lima. “There were so many factors to consider, like infrastructure, population and socioeconomic distribution,” she says. “And we came up with a solution for where it should be located.”

After four years of working in Peru, Aragon returned to the United States. “At the university in Peru, professors are strongly encouraged to get a doctoral degree,” she says. A colleague told her that Laila Cure, WSU assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, was looking for a qualified student to help with research in the modeling and analysis of healthcare operations, a topic of interest to Aragon.

She looked up Cure and the industrial and manufacturing engineering program at WSU – and liked what she found. 

“Since the day I came to Wichita State, it has been a wonderful experience, and the university provides an excellent environment to do research,” she says. Her doctoral dissertation features research about patient safety and healthcare quality. She plans to graduate in 2019, then return to Peru to continue teaching and conducting research. 

“I like both,” says Aragon. “I am learning to become a better researcher, and teaching keeps me active and helps me keep learning.” 

No doubt her students and the many patients her research affects will be grateful for her hard work and dedication to finding the best possible solution for any challenge she encounters – whether unfamiliar math concepts or optimal delivery of healthcare services.


Message From the WSU President

President John Bardo shares an updated definition of “applied learning,” stresses the importance of creating connections between classroom and workplace learning – all key aspects of Wichita State’s efforts in preparing students for the world.

Her Mission: Finding the Best Solution

A native of Peru, Lucy Aragon is working on a doctorate in industrial and manufacturing engineering at Wichita State.

The American Way

Wichita State University President John Bardo shared the news on April 7: WSU has accepted the invitation from Commissioner Mike Aresco to join the American Athletic Conference, ending a 72-year relationship with the Missouri Valley Conference.

Greek News

The 8th Annual Multicultural Greek Council “Shock the Yard” Step Show livened up post-basketball quiet Charles Koch Arena on April 29.


These Gleanings entries survey the current university scene and feature original illustrations by Scott Dawson ’86.