Welcome to my portfolio! I am a student at Duke studying mechanical engineering with an Innovation & Entrepreneurship certificate with a concentration in Technology and Design. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Throughout school, I was always most passionate about my math and science classes. My time outside of the classroom was spent mostly planning events as part of student government and dancing. I began dancing when I was 3 years old and spent nearly every hour I wasn’t at school in my dance studio. My love for dance has followed me to college as I now serve as the president of On Tap, Duke’s premier tap dance group.
While a Miami girl at heart, when it came time to start thinking about colleges I knew it was time to leave and experience somewhere new- preferably somewhere with seasons. When I stepped on Duke’s campus for the first time in eleventh grade, I experienced a feeling that I had not felt on any of my previous college tours and I knew that I had found a place that I could potentially call home. While this tour convinced me to apply to Duke, it was the research I did afterwards that convinced me to choose Duke. I fell in love with not only the ability, but the encouragement, to pursue passions across subject areas even as an engineer. Now that I am at Duke, I am a campus ambassador and tour guide, a volunteer with Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science (FEMMES), and Philanthropy Chair for the Omicron Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi.
Growing up, all of my friends seemed to have dream occupations. Meanwhile, I never had any clue what I wanted to be. I knew I loved math and science but was unclear about how I could turn those passions into a career. In 10th grade, my physics teacher took us on a field trip to Walt Disney World as part of the Disney Youth Education Series. This program consisted of a behind the scenes look at how the rides function from a physics standpoint. I spent all four hours of the program bombarding our group leader with questions. I was fascinated by the way hydraulics are used in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and how a centripetal force affects the acceleration experienced while riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The program concluded with an explanation of the role of Disney’s Imagineers- “engineers who create, design, and construct the theme parks’ attractions”. This explanation exposed me to the fluidity of engineering and therefore persuaded me to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
What excites me the most about engineering is the ability to act on creativity. The technical skills I am currently learning will allow me to make my ideas a reality. The desire to be innovative lies at the root of my love for engineering and therefore pursuing the Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate has allowed be to apply this innovative thinking to realms outside of engineering and in turn caused me to be a better engineer.
After the Disney field trip, there was no question that I was going to study engineering. The greatest lesson I have learned at Duke thus far is the variety of ways that I can use my engineering degree. During my first semester I was fortunate enough to be part of a team of first-year engineers who designed adaptive eating utensils for a 19-year old girl with Cerebral Palsy who had never been able to eat independently. This project exposed me to the drastic impact that engineers can have on people’s lives and made me truly confident in my decision to become an engineer. While I remain conflicted on how my engineering degree will be applied after graduation, I am positive that if I am a part of something that brings happiness into people’s lives I will in turn be happy.