#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · Computer Science · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Sopuruchi Uwakweh

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.” by Maya Angelou, in Letter to My Daughter

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m currently a chemical engineering freshman in the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez campus. I have three siblings, and they’re all boys. I’ve been into agricultural engineering-centered research since I was a freshman in high school, and I hope to land an internship or be granted a research opportunity in that field sometime next school year.

Fun fact: I’m an aspiring entrepreneur. I’ve been running my own cookie micro-business, “Sochi’s Cookies,”since 2015 and it’s been a gratifyingly tiring venture since then.


What # would define your life journey?

What do you do to uplift women in your university?
I’m currently the social media manager for the IEEE Women In Engineering student chapter of my university. The chapter aims to uplift women, as well as men, by doing everything possible to break a diversity of barriers to bridge the gender divide. “Voices of WIE” is a project I started within the chapter to do just that. I interview random people that are part of the IEEE WIE family concerning their aspirations, how they overcame obstacles, and what they would tell young men and women that aim to enter the wonderful world of engineering but are too scared to do so. Broadcasting their success stories to the social world is merely the first of many methods I’ll use to uplift both genders within and outside my scope.


Favorite website / app:
Snapchat and Twitter

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Several people have inspired me as far as I can remember, starting with my Nigerian parents and several family members who are PhD and EdD holders and overcame countless obstacles to be in the high and prestigious positions they’re in today. However, the day I discovered Maya Angelou‘s literature and learned her life story, was the day I decided to start working towards a meaningful and purposeful future. I was always a stellar student because of my parents’ efforts, and perhaps genes, but I never grasped the fact that I was capable of achieving so much more until I learned Maya Angelou’s life story and read up on her epic works.


Song that makes you want to dance:
“Lead Me to Rest” by A Capella encourages and strengthens my spirit every single day.

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
The summer before I started my freshman year, I travelled to the island’s capital (San Juan) with my research mentor, Dr. Eric Harmsen. I accompanied him to a number of meetings with representatives from federal agencies like NOAA, USDA, and the island’s Department of Agriculture. Their work was quite diverse, from soil moisture monitoring and climate monitoring, to bettering water and energy balance models. Core courses in chemical engineering such as Mass Transfer, Heat Transfer, Balance, Thermodynamics, among many others, cover a good chunk of the engineering behind the manufacturing of satellites of such nature. Those meetings definitely assured me that chemical engineering was the right path to take, since my main objective was to propel the agricultural and environmental sector with chemical engineering technologies.


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