New Student Assistant Brings Diverse Interests to the Women’s Center

Riham MBy Riham Mohammed

Hello everyone! My name is Riham Mohammed, but I go by Rama because it is easier to pronounce. I am a junior double major student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Missouri – Kansas City. I am Middle Eastern, from Bagdad the capital of Iraq. I speak Arabic, Kurdish and a little bit of Turkish in addition to English of course. I was born in Iraq but was raised in Syria. I moved to the United States in 2011 and I started my journey at UMKC 2 months after I arrived.

Why Engineering and why UMKC? Well, I have always been told that I am great at solving math and physics problems and since I like technology and computers, why not computer engineering? But it happened to be a double major because UMKC didn’t really have a major in computer engineering and hardware, just computer science which focused more on software, which isn’t my interest. So the advisors allowed me to create my own path merging two majors in one, Electrical and Computer engineering.  Unfortunately, this meant double the coursework, so I’ve had to take 6 classes every semester and 3 classes every summer semester for the past 3 years to arrive to where I am right now – Proud!

Things to know about Rama: 1) I am a very enthusiastic family person, my family comes before everything and I love them so much;  2) I have some crazy hobbies like fixing computers or program coding to make our lives easier; 3) I love swimming, listening to music, and everything related to something FUN; 4) I like fashion and make-up, which it might seems hard with my full loaded school schedule and work but I always mange to dress up and feel pretty;  5) I love Italian food and I try as many Italian restaurants as I can when I travel; and 6) I love car racing in my SRT charger!

This is my first week of work at the Women’s Center and it is also my first experience with the work-study program, and it has been fun and exciting so far. I am looking forward to attend events and seeing how the Women’s Center helps women in school and guides them through their journeys.

Wonder Woman in STEM: Mary Barra

By Torshawna Grffin

Imag courtesy of Google Images; found through Creative Commons

Image courtesy of Google Images; found through Creative Commons

A big “congratulations” goes to Mary Barra for being General Motor’s first female CEO. Making it to the top in a male-dominated field is not the easiest thing. Mary has been with the company for 33 years. When given the promotion she said, “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.” Mary has been with General Motors (GM) since she was 18 years old.  She attended General Motors Institute (known as Kettering University) as a co-op student (meaning that she had to find a GM unit to be her sponsor – she chose Pontiac). Mary has truly worked her way to the top through hard work and perseverance.

For me, being in the Mechanical Engineering field as a woman, it gives me hope that the car industry could one day be female-dominated.  Most people don’t understand that being a woman in a male-dominated industry is hard because not only are you competing with other women, but you are constantly proving to the men that you can be an asset to their company. I struggle with these hardships now within my classes. Because of women like Mary Barra, engineering will no longer be considered a male career. Mary Barra is truly a “WONDERful Woman”.