It's very seldom that you come across an ambitious young scholar like Sarah Dilliard, which is why we are thrilled to have her featured on Sistas in STEM. For so long we have been conditioned to accept the perceptions that only certain types of people can work in engineering fields. Well, those perceptions are progressively changing now because women of color are emerging to the forefront.
Name: Sarah Dillard
Alma Mater: Savannah State University
SiSTEM Career Path: Civil Engineering Technology, Transportation Cert.
For Sarah, no task has been impossible to achieve while attending Savannah State University. She started her journey as an HBCU White House All-Star where she served as an ambassador providing outreach opportunities and communications to her fellow peers. Professing the value education among peers was an important focal point of the program.
Sarah went on to take part in many more organizations and programs throughout her matriculation. A few of them include; Acting as Student Government Association President, GA Power Co-op, National Council of Negro Women, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and landing an Engineering Internship at the first LEED-certified engineering firm in Savannah (Maupin) .
KH: Who/What made you interested in pursuing engineering?
SD: A family member shared with me that she was a civil engineer and my high school teacher both became engineers. Both of them were black females and I felt that if they could do it, so could I. Moreover, I was introduced to a STEM academy in middle school and learning STEM related applications made me determine early that I wanted to contribute to society, not through medicine but through problem solving, to overcome a challenge and stigma, to become an engineer.
KH: What are your future plans as an engineer?
SD: Future career plans involve being engaged with professional organizations that support STEM fields and growth in at risk communities.
KH: Why do you feel It is important to get more women into STEM fields?
SD: It is vital to have more women in STEM because we are super smart and the diversity in the field of science is needed, to grow the perspectives and views that will invent more technology, phenomenas, and solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.
Although African American women are underrepresented in engineering, it is important to continue to display positive role models like Sarah in efforts to encourage more women to pursue. Keep striving and always remember there's someone out there looking up to you!
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