Meet 2017 recipient Jenny Ramirez. Starting at a young age, she had a passion for discovering how things work; a passion that encouraged her studies in the STEM field. Learn more about her path!
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My inspiration came from a dedicated patient man, my dad, who always instilled confidence in me when I faced challenging tasks. In my elementary years, I asked for his help on a homework assignment that required me to draw the shield of the Ecuadorian flag. Any kid knows this is impossible! My hidden intention was for him to do the job for me. Instead, he encouraged me to draw on my piece of paper as he was also doing it on his. The realization that I could draw something by myself was exceptional. My passion for discovering “how things work” was also inspired by him. My memory of being a kid is that my dad always transformed a simple task at home in a science project when he involved me. I like to think that I was his favorite helper. Without realizing it, his activities and positive attitude developed my skills as an engineer.
What do you like best about your university’s STEM programs?
CU Boulder has a large number of educational out-of-class opportunities that involve engineering learning projects, study abroad activities, and leadership and mentoring programs. In each of these areas, students are encouraged to take part in activities where they can learn conscious engineering lessons in a welcoming environment. I have participated for three years in several mentoring programs, and they have impressed upon me the importance of encouraging other people in their career while cultivating friendships.
What advice can you share to other young women pursuing STEM degrees?
Don’t enter the school already looking for the exit. Instead, focus your attention on the learning process. Find where your true passions lie, and the satisfaction of doing your work would make a contribution in the classroom as well as your future workplace. Your enthusiasm and example will be positive role model for many other women who may otherwise hesitate to get involved in STEM fields!
When you are not studying, what do you like to do for fun?
I love shopping and going out with friends for meals. Sometimes it gets out of control, and it is not uncommon for us to make reservation for a group of 15 when we crave different cuisine styles.
Give us a fun fact about you!
My friends say that I am storyteller, but I am geotechnical engineering by heart. Ten years ago, I started a sand collection that decorates the shelves of my office. At the beginning, I brought sand from places that I visited so I could compare the variation in color, grain type, and size. As time passed, my friends starting to add to the collection. They usually take the time -- and sometimes the risk -- to bring me little samples from places that they visit. Overall, I have 50 4-oz bottles of sand from around the world!