#ChooseToChallenge is the theme of 2021’s International Women’s Day, which is being observed Monday, March 8th.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • raise awareness about women’s equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities


To commemorate International Women’s Day, FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) would like to spotlight just a handful of its many remarkable female students who have chosen to challenge themselves in pursuit of their professional dreams.

Juliette Dubon – Dubon will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering this spring and has already landed her first job as an engineer at Boeing in the Research and Technology Division within the company’s Space and Defense Organization. She starts August 2021.

Melissa Venedicto – Venedicto is presently majoring in biomedical engineering with a minor in physics. Her recent internship at the NASA MIRO CRE2DO Center at FIU, allowed her to work on a project focused on nanomaterials, which is one of her strongest research interests.

Adriana Sandino – is a Nicaraguan American fourth-year student majoring in both criminal justice and information technology. She now also serves as the president of the Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE).

Mireya Jurado is a Computer Science PhD candidate in the School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) in the Cognition, Narrative, and Culture Laboratory (COGNAC). She has a Master of Science in Computer Science from FIU and is an active researcher in the field of cybersecurity. Jurado is also a Fellow under the Center for Advancing Education and Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CAESCIR) and she was a FIU SCIS Director’s Fellow from 2016-2019.

Hasantha Malavipathirana – is a doctoral student at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). She is the recent recipient of the 2020 Cadence Women in Technology Scholarship. Malavipathirana is working on designing analog Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits to simulate physical systems by solving their governing Partial Differential Equations (PDEs).

Women are a growing force in engineering and computer science. According to the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), women earned 21.9% of bachelor’s degrees, 26.7% of master’s degrees and 23.6% of doctoral degrees in engineering in the US as of 2018.

CEC honors these and all its remarkable female students who continue to challenge themselves daily and make us Panther Proud!