Washington State University
A Senior at the Washington State University, Dominica is a civil engineering student who intends to focus on composite materials for use in earthquake resistant construction. A first generation college student, Dominica emigrated from Ecuador and was disappointed to learn that her previous college credits would not transfer. Forced to start over at freshman level classes, Dominica has persevered and excelled. She has also continued to volunteer with Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the WSU Engineers Without Borders (EWB) club, and tutoring in a variety of capacities and organizations.
When asked about her choice of degree, Dominica spoke about the global challenges that engineers can assist with.
"One significant challenge we are currently facing and will continue to face for at least the next 10 years, is unattainable housing. As a civil engineer with a focus on structures, I am interested in the infrastructural development of cities. For the past year, I have been on the research team at Washington State University at the Composite Materials Engineering Center. There, we focus on wood panels, hydration of cement, and admixtures for concrete. Composite materials can represent a decrease in materials cost and a greener construction practice. ... By engineering less expensive, yet stronger and lighter construction materials, we have the potential to reduce housing costs. ... Housing cost is just one of the problems that I am trying to help solve. I cannot fix the world, but my small contribution to affordable housing will make a difference someday.
An expected 2023 graduate of Bellevue College, Stacy is an emigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who expects to continue her education to a university level. Stacy has a strong interest in environmental sciences and connecting with the public.
When asked about what in her classes has inspired her, Stacy had this to say.
“My previous experience with chemistry wasn’t the best, but that class included a quarter long project which ended by reaching out to our community and share my research project. In that class, my interest in environmental sciences deepened after focusing on indoor air pollution. I have an interest in civil engineering because of the public work it involved, but after that class, I’m also considering architecture and environmental science due to the sustainability component that entails. The knowledge I got in that class also helped receive an offer of internship to shadow a public health and environmental professor this summer which I’ll greatly learn from.”