“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m currently a sophomore at Columbia University studying Sustainable Development and Computer Science and interning at Scientific Toolworks. As a part of my school’s Design for America studio, I’m learning how to use human-centered design principles to help solve problems in my community. I’m also involved with Girls Who Code, which is an organization that teaches high school girls computer science skills. I’m interested in the ways that art and technology can intersect to create solutions to environmental and social problems.
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
I’ve recently been using One List to help me keep track of the tasks I need to complete, and I’ve been loving it!
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Chris Milk is someone I really look up to. He has combined his talents in art and technology to create some amazing projects in virtual reality and immersive art that have a positive social impact. One example of this is “Clouds Over Sidra” – a virtual reality documentary from the perspective of a 12 year old girl living in The Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. I admire that Milk uses his work to benefit and enlighten others in such unique ways.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Being a woman in STEM fields definitely comes with a lot of challenges, and at times it’s easy to feel like an outsider in class or work since a lot of the time I am the only woman in the room. When I first got to Columbia, this sense of impostor syndrome was doubled when I heard so many amazing things about my classmates, and at times I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be at the same school as them. Eventually, I realized that so many people felt the same way as I did, and I’ve learned there’s nothing to be gained by comparing myself to those around me. I am also hoping that I can serve as a mentor, now and in the future, for girls in STEM and other students and encourage them and show them that they do belong.
There are so many things I would like to do in the future! I’m really hoping to find a job where I can use technology to benefit other people and the environment. Some fields that interest me are virtual reality, civic tech, and geoinformatics.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Don’t worry so much about how all the dots will connect in the future – let your passion and curiosity drive what you do, and you’ll end up where you need to be.