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Dahlia López

Place of birth:

Flint, Michigan, USA

Family Heritage:

Mexico

Education:

Civil Engineering Student at the University of Texas at Austin

Current job:

Student

Bio

I am currently studying Civil Engineering at the University of Texas Austin, but I have a passion for hardware and mechanics and am hoping to transfer into a Mechanical Engineering Program soon. I love crafting and jewelry making, and my knack for hands-on work has transferred over into my talents for building and designing robots. I am an NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Winner and a FIRST Dean's List Award Finalist and am currently involved in the Equal Opportunity in Engineering program and Women in Engineering Program at UT.

Bio

I am a member of the UT Robotics and Automation Society, and I work with teams to help build robots and take them to competitions. I contribute by drafting 3D designs of the robot on a computer, and also by making the components for the bot by laser cutting materials and 3D printing parts. I discovered my passion for robotics in high school after working on and later leading an FTC Robotics team and hope to act as a mentor for other young women discovering their passions, whether that be in programming, making apps, building bridges, or designing jewelry. As a queer Mexican woman, I am a fierce advocate for women's rights, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ rights, and think it's urgent to create more Latina inclusion in STEM.

Why would you recommend exploring careers in science and technology to other Latina girls?

STEM is a widely fascinating field that encompasses so many different areas and it's always growing and changing, meaning that it is engaging to so many different kinds of people. There isn't just one component of STEM that you can pin down, but rather a multitude of fields ranging from programming and computing to building rockets and robots that explore deep space. There is such beauty in creation and innovative thought, and there is so much that we have yet to discover or create - with more Latinas in STEM, more discoveries could be made and more opportunities are waiting.

The STEM field should be as diverse in its participants as the opportunities it offers, and it's sad to see statistics that outline the staggering discrepancy between the number of careers in STEM, and the number of Latinas that are in those careers. Science and Technology are areas of study that are engaging and exciting because they encourage innovative thought, and STEM is a field available to anyone with passion and a heart willing to forge new paths.