March is Women's
This year’s national theme is Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This theme is meant to honor generations of women who throughout American history have used their intelligence, imagination, sense of wonder, and tenacity to make extraordinary contributions to the STEM fields.
As part of our Women’s History Month celebrations, the Women's Center and CWIT are partnering to showcase six talented women in engineering and IT fields at UMBC. The future of women’s history is being created as we speak and there is importance in sharing our lived stories now. We invite you to join us throughout the month of March to learn more about these women, their experiences, and their dreams.
Junior Information Systems major & ISCOM President
Describe what sparked your interest STEM and the journey to choosing your major.
My interest in technology spurred from encouragement from my parents, who are heavily involved in technical careers. As a teenager, stories about their projects and experiences generated my technical curiosity and inspired me to pursue a field that is forever changing.
Tell us about an internship, research experience or project that you are proud of.
In my work experience as a network technician on campus, I have the opportunity to directly impact my surroundings at UMBC as part of a great team who works to support the daily operations and long-term network infrastructure on campus. This position allows me to explore many aspects of UMBC that would be unknown as a regular student - but more importantly, I am able to give back to the University through my technical skills and experience.
Who are your role models in the engineering or IT field?
I admire women who actively strive to encourage girls to become involved in STEM fields. Some of these role models include Padmasree Warrior (CTO at Cisco Systems), Susan Crawford (Law professor and telecommunications advisor), Sheryl Sandberg (COO at Facebook), and Marissa Mayer (CEO at Yahoo Inc.). These women have faced countless challenges throughout their careers and continue to inspire the next generation of females in technology.
Explain your experience as a woman in a STEM major, including the challenges as well as the rewards.
Being a woman in a STEM major can be very challenging at times; but the existence of support systems such as CWIT and the Women’s Center provide resources to ensure success. There are many classes and labs where I am the only female in the room, which can often make me doubt my knowledge and skills, and feel as if I must prove my belonging in the course. While these times can be difficult, the environment at UMBC is generally very welcoming. When any doubt surfaces, I know how to find the people and resources I need to succeed.
The Center for Women In Technology (CWIT) is dedicated to increasing the representation of women in the creation of technology in the engineering and information technology fields. CWIT efforts begin with nurturing a strong group of Scholars, grow to building community resources for other women in these majors, extend to fostering a healthy gender climate and ITE pedagogy in College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) departments, and finally expand into outreach efforts to increase interest in technical careers. A successful program for female-friendly engineering and information technology education at UMBC will help make UMBC a destination for women (and men) interested in technical careers and serve as a national model for other universities.
Learn more about our community athttp://www.cwit.umbc.edu/
For more information about Women’s History events and happenings, visit: http://my.umbc.edu/groups/womenscenter/news/24724