Meet 2017 recipient Madeline Loui. Read more on her dad's influence on her STEM upbringing and her advice for other women pursuing a STEM degree. Learn more about her story!
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My dad, an electrical engineer, inspired me to pursue a career in STEM. When I was growing up, I was able to learn about what he did as an engineer, especially when I got to visit him at work. My dad encouraged me to explore my interests by participating in internships and projects when I was in high school. He also encouraged me to take a computer science class at my high school. Although I did not expect to enjoy it, it became one of my favorite classes. My dad helped me realize my passion for technology, innovation, and creativity, which led to my decision to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering.
What do you like best about your university’s STEM programs?
What I like best about Georgia Tech's engineering program is all the opportunities that are available for gaining hands-on experience. There are countless research programs for every department and most research groups are multidisciplinary, allowing students to work with a diverse team. Additionally, there are mentors on every level (faculty, graduate, and undergraduate) that help students learn how to apply their skills in a professional setting and give useful advice from their own experiences and knowledge.
What advice can you share to other young women pursuing STEM degrees?
Be open-minded about what you could do in the future! Often, people would ask me what exact job I want to have, what company I want to work for, etc., and I would feel very stressed out because, honestly, I wasn't sure! STEM is a huge field and I didn't know (and still don't totally know) what different possibilities and careers I could aim for. Part of pursuing a STEM degree is becoming exposed to different areas of the field and to be open to them in order to find what your interests and passions are. So although it is great to already know exactly what you want to do in the future, it's okay to have goals that are more general and to be open-minded about different possibilities.
Also, a piece of advice that I have about being a minority in STEM is to not be afraid to speak up, even when you're one of the only females in the group! Ask questions in class and make the effort to talk and get to know your professors. It'll really make you stand out!
How has the WFiT scholarship program impacted your education and professional development?
The WFiT scholarship program has helped contribute to my college education not only through generous financial support, but also through its motive: to empower women in STEM across the nation. Having this support and encouragement has helped motivate me in my studies and be confident in my work.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I can see myself pursuing my masters in Computer Engineering and traveling the world through studying or interning abroad.
When you are not studying, what do you like to do for fun?
When I am not studying, I enjoy running with friends and training for local races. I also like to read, particularly C.S. Lewis and Agatha Christie novels. I also like painting and photography.
Give us a fun fact about you.
I am working for NASA this summer!
Who is your biggest female role model in the STEM field?
My biggest role model in the STEM field is Dr. Linda Wills, one of my research advisors at Georgia Tech. She is very dedicated to teaching and cares a lot about her students. Additionally, she is always involved in cool projects and often shares about recent innovations.
What is your favorite flavor ice cream? Pizza topping?
My favorite ice cream flavor is cookies and cream. I also love any kind of gelato! My favorite kind of pizza is Hawaiian.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
I would go to Nepal because it has an intriguing culture and I would love to see the Himalayas. No, I am not fit to climb Mt. Everest, but I would love to view it from a distance!