WEST Fest Welcomes Future Women Engineers to Tandon

WEST Fest Panel

A panel of female leaders at Tandon highlighted the many ways women can excel in STEM here.

“I’m happy to say that at NYU Tandon, we’re bringing in our largest class of women ever in the school’s history,” Elizabeth Ensweiler, Director of Enrollment Management, said to enthusiastic cheers at the WEST (Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology) Fest on July 27.

With women comprising over 40 percent of the incoming first-year class, NYU Tandon had much to celebrate at the annual summer event that welcomes incoming female engineering students and K-12 students participating in the school’s summer STEMNow programs to Tandon’s campus. Attendees enjoyed learning more about academics and student life by connecting with representatives from clubs and departments at the resource fair, and collecting facts about the many opportunities and support for female Tandon engineers as part of a bingo game. Following the fair, the students listened to a panel of female leaders at Tandon, including professor of computer science and engineering Phyllis Frankl, MakerSpace director Victoria Bill, Assistant Dean for First-year Students and Academic Initiatives Melinda Parham, and Associate Director of Academic Affairs Sara-Lee Ramsawak. The panelists highlighted the many ways women can excel in STEM at NYU Tandon, such as networking with their professors and potential employers, studying with peers and friends, not being afraid to ask questions, research opportunities, and the advantages of female representation within STEM fields

Parham emphasized the school’s initiative towards “creating a pipeline here for women to be present in the School of Engineering,” such as the many female students conducting research in NYU Tandon labs this summer or high school students taking pre-college engineering courses at the school. Frankl lauded this representation of women within STEM, especially given its common perception as a male-oriented domain. “Having a diverse workforce generates a diversity of ideas and you can come up with better solutions to problems that you see, and you can discover problems that many might not even have known were there,” Frankl said.

The students excitedly asked questions about the school’s MakerSpace, which Bill encouraged all of them to explore in their first year. She also emphasized Tandon’s integration of art and technology with engineering, which thrilled incoming first-year Perzya Zephyrin, who will be studying chemical engineering and has a unique background in performing arts. “The WEST Fest helped me become really excited about college and the opportunities at Tandon. I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like to put acting in the back seat and really expand my knowledge of science and engineering.”

Parham closed the panel by sharing the school’s unique commitment to innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship, or i2e, and the role women play in this initiative. “From day one, we try to ensure that our students understand that as future engineers, you are being prepared to solve problems in very innovative and creative ways. We’re ... pushing the boundaries of what is already known and established, and creating new markets where your ideas can be fully realized.”

Learn more about opportunities and resources for Women in Engineering.

Camila Ryder
Graduate School of Arts and Science
Master of Arts in English Literature, Class of 2018