The Center for Diversity and Student Success in Engineering and Computing (CD-SSEC) launched its inaugural student research cohort this spring with 12 students from six different majors and eight faculty mentors.

The mission of OURS (Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship) is to foster a culture of research excellence within the College of Engineering & Computing that is committed to promoting opportunities for all students, especially those from underrepresented populations and disadvantaged backgrounds. Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, many of the student researchers have continued to conduct their work remotely throughout the summer.

Under the leadership of Trina Fletcher, assistant professor in the School of Universal Computing, Construction and Engineering Education (SUCCEED), a research team including OURS students Estefani Arroyo and Ronald Quintero, conducted research on the CD-SSEC’s Women of CEC initiative.

Their work culminated in an accepted paper submission to the Frontiers in Education (FIE) 2020 conference titled Intersectionality at minority-serving institutions (MSIs): A longitudinal analysis of female student participation within engineering and computing. The group continues to work together and has plans to submit additional findings by the end of the summer term.

For more information on the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship program visit the center’s website – https://cec.fiu.edu/academics/student-resources/cd-ssec-home/undergraduate-and-pre-college-research

OURS Student Highlights

Estefani Arroyo

Estefani Arroyo is an Honors College student at Florida International University, studying computer science. She is very passionate about computer science in education and is currently an OURS Scholar performing research on the female experience in the College of Engineering & Computing at an HSI university. Estefani is the vice president of the student organization, Women in Computer Science, where she has held several roles, including being the co-lead of TechPrep. TechPrep is a program designed to help women navigate the technical interview space and increase the number of women in the tech pipeline.

Estefani also co-led the first-ever student-run Women in Tech Conference at FIU with more than 100+ attendees. Additionally, she volunteers her time to motivate children and girls to pursue STEM fields with programs like Engineers on Wheels and Code/Art. As a #BUILTBYGIRLS ambassador for FIU, she was able to help 70+ women find an industry mentor that would help create a community and network of Women in STEM on campus. This past summer, Estefani interned as a program manager at Microsoft in Azure Data under Cosmos DB. Before that, she interned at JPMorgan Chase as a software engineering Intern on their Big Data team. She is very excited to continue her career in CS and hopes to inspire other women to do the same.

Ronald Quintero

Ronald Quintero is a first-generation Cuban-American college student at FIU studying computer science. Ronald believes that a good education is pivotal in someone’s development, and that is the reason he has been very passionate about ways to improve learning and cognition in both K-12 and higher education. Most recently, he has taken to being in the world of research.

In the summer of 2019, Ronald was invited to join a cohort of students at Rochester Institute of Technology to lead a project on developing protocols to test spatial visualization in engineering students. This spring, he joined OURS, where he’s been invited to work with a team of professors, faculty, and students to assess female statistics in the engineering and computer science fields at FIU. Ronald will be graduating this summer and hopes to pursue a career as a computer scientist or further his education by attending graduate school.

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