Skating produces Miami memories for Miss Ines

illustration of miss ines and person ice skating
Engineering success

Skating produces
Miami memories
for ‘Miss Ines’

"Goggin opened a lot of doors for me"

The Miami experience for Ines de Cote Solano Lopez centers on one specific spot on the Oxford campus - the ice at Goggin Ice Center.

That’s where “Miss Ines” taught hundreds of children how to skate during her four years at Miami. That’s where she practiced her freestyle figure skating. And even as she graduated in May 2020 and started a master’s program in construction management at the University of Miami in Florida, that’s where Lopez’s Miami heart will remain.

“Goggin opened a lot of doors for me,” said Lopez, who earned the 2020 President’s Distinguished Service Award. “It was a big part of my life. Teaching kids was a way of paying skating back for all that it has done for me.”

Always interested in building things

Lopez spent the last four months of her senior year with her family in Miami during the coronavirus outbreak. She had always been interested in how to build things like bridges, so Miami’s mechanical engineering program was a natural fit. She says her dream job is helping to design and build roller coasters at some of the world’s biggest theme parks.

Skating, predictably, is what brought Lopez to Miami University. She grew up in Mexico and then attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota, where her camp coach was the legendary Miami coach Vicki Korn (who passed away in April 2020). Lopez applied without even seeing Miami’s campus, then several months later, found herself in Chicago and took a road trip to Oxford.

“I fell in love with the campus and fell in love with the engineering program, so I just enrolled right there,” Lopez said.