Meet our Students

The next generation of STEM innovators

Oluwatoyosi Ipaye

Student

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Affiliated with  NeXXt Scholars Program

Current education level  Undergraduate

Current or future career field(s)  Biomedical Engineering

Born in Nigeria, Oluwatoyosi Ipaye grew up in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, a fast-paced Nigerian city in Africa's most populous country. Over two years ago, she decided to come to the United States with the hope of gaining a new perspective and an understanding of how Americans think and act. She wanted a clearer knowledge of what it was that made Americans do things differently than what is done in most African countries, with the hope of using the experience gained to be part of the change she wants to see in Nigeria. She is hard-working, purpose-driven, disciplined, and prayerful. She is not afraid of trying against all odds. Whenever she can, she enjoys writing poems and essays. She currently serves as a student leader in the residence halls as a resident assistant. After her undergraduate studies, Oluwatoyosi hopes to pursue a PhD and help out with STEM outreach programs specifically for women.

Why and how are STEM education and the Global STEM Alliance important to you?

I am currently affiliated with the NeXXt Scholars program of the Global STEM Alliance initiative. The NeXXt Scholars program connects women interested in pursuing careers in a STEM field with a network of other women in STEM. STEM education for women is very important to me because the STEM fields is one field that has yet to be dominated by women and it seems sad that for whatever reason, women are still underrepresented in these fields. One of the trends that I see, especially within my field, is that deciding to pursue a STEM field is not the hardest part of the process: the major challenge is following through with the STEM career pursuit. The NeXXt Scholars has played a part in surrounding me with an emotional support and a network of opportunities that have encouraged me in sticking with my pursuit to study Biomedical Engineering.

What are/were your goals for participation in the Global STEM Alliance? How has Global STEM Alliance programming helped you achieve them?

Quite frankly I joined the NeXXt Scholars program not exactly knowing so much about what it was about, but mainly because I was nominated by Elaine Zundl, the Assistant Dean for the Douglass Project, a STEM initiative at Douglass College. However, as I got to know more about the program and its purposes, it has become clear to me that one of the reasons I am glad to be a part of it is to see the many opportunities within STEM that are available upon graduation from college, and see what paths would best fit my interests while still keeping me in STEM.

If you could invent or discover one thing, what would it be?

If I could invent or discover one thing someday, it would be a low-cost, least invasive diagnostic tool that is capable of running a head to toe diagnosis on the human body.

"Deciding to pursue a STEM field is not the hardest part of the process: the major challenge is following through with the STEM career pursuit."

Jaime

Student

New York, NY, USA

Affiliated with  Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program

Favorite STEM subject  Science

Why and how are STEM education and the Global STEM Alliance important to you?

STEM education and the Global STEM alliance are very important to me because they are preparing me for a successful future at a very young age. It is an opportunity most kids my age do not have. As part of the Bronx Task Force Robotics team, I am challenged academically. This allows me to work on my weakest abilities. I have a chance to develop life skills tools such as critical thinking, leadership, community building, and communication. Academically, it has helped me with advance research, presentations, and the ability to quantify numbers.

What did you enjoy about participating in Global STEM Alliance programming? How has Global STEM Alliance programming helped you?

As a participant in the Global STEM Alliance program, I was introduced to materials to which I was never exposed like computer programming. This caught my attention as a student because it gave me a chance to learn new content, like the idea of creating a robot program that could save lives.

I also enjoyed working with mentors from the New York Academy of Sciences. They taught me how to approach a hypothesis from a scientific point of view and learn how to research topics such as nanotechnology, cancer, natural disasters, transportation, and geriatrics. Topics like these have kept me motivated and engaged in the program.

If you could invent or discover one thing, what would it be?

I would like to invent a procedure that allows me to save lives as a pediatric doctor.

"STEM education and the Global STEM Alliance are preparing me for a successful future at a very young age. It is an opportunity most kids my age do not have."

Rahazimah Alzahrah Abu Bakar Sadiqin

Student

Boston University
Boston, MA, USA

Affiliated with  Nobelist Mindset Program

Current education level  Undergraduate

Current or future career field(s)  Molecular Biology, Genetics

Rahazimah comes from Malaysia. This is where she was born and grew up even though her early childhood was spent in Vienna. At 16, she completed her secondary education at PERMATApintar National Gifted Centre, Malaysia, and continued her tertiary education at Boston University. She fell in love with science when she heard the phrases “Stem Cells” and “Growth Hormones” in primary school. Aspiring to be a well-rounded researcher, Rahazimah joined tournaments such as Mighty Minds, World Scholar’s Cup, Model UN, and PERMATApintar Future Scientists’ Conference in high school. Besides biology, she loves political science, arts and crafts, cultures from around the world, swimming, Jodi Picoult’s novels, and food.

Why and how are STEM education and the Global STEM Alliance important to you?

STEM education provides a platform for students to explore and discover STEM with proper guidance from experts and their peers. Instead of making us memorize the facts in order to ace our exams, STEM education encourages us to be curious and critical thinkers. STEM education also instills confidence in us (students) that despite our young age, we are capable of great things, such as conducting our own research and presenting them in conferences.

What are/were your goals for participation in the Global STEM Alliance? How has Global STEM Alliance programming helped you achieve them?

This program helped me to widen my networking with scientists, professionals, and peers in the science fields. I also enjoyed the hands-on activity such as the DNA barcoding experiment and the educational tours. Without the young researchers, the world will not be able to progress or overcome future challenges. This program has made me realize that we should not feel complacent with our achievements today because there will definitely be more obstacles in the future.

If you could invent or discover one thing, what would it be?

Develop a method to detect growth-hormone disorders such as gigantism and acromegaly at an early stage, and discover a stable, proper cure; therefore, patients would not need to undergo surgery.

"This program helped me to widen my networking with scientists, professionals, and peers in the science fields."