Joy Sure

  • B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Headshot of Joy Sure

Global Challenge: Clean drinking water

We are all interdependent despite the physical boundaries that separate nations. Whether we improve the present while preparing for the future or suffer much later is in our hands.”


I was born and raised in Kenya before emigrating to South Africa when I was five. Growing up, I enjoyed working with numbers, problem-solving, and I marveled at the ability of scientists and engineers to develop innovative solutions to various issues. This passion led me to pursue Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with Minors in Finance and Mathematics because it encompasses my interests and provides opportunities to make a valuable contribution to society. I am also currently involved in leadership roles in student organizations, and I volunteer in initiatives focused on addressing food insecurity and poverty alleviation in South Africa and the United States. My current global challenge is focused on addressing the United Nation’s sixth sustainable development goal: Clean Water and Sanitation. This is mainly due to the disparity in the number of deaths caused by waterborne diseases (such as cholera) between developed and developing nations and the inaccessibility to potable water affecting 785 million people globally. Over the summer I have been a research assistant in the Silverman Laboratory as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program where I have mainly been investigating the mechanism of resistance indigenous bacteria have to common water purification disinfectants that are meant to inactivate them and prevent their regrowth. This is significant as the bacteria used in the experiment (Escherichia coli and Enterococci) usually indicate the presence of fecal contamination and pathogenic bacteria which is a health risk. Furthermore, understanding the mechanism used enables the production of better treatment method. During the past two years of college, I have learned the value of remaining curious and intentional, and I have learned the importance of embracing challenges and the unknown. I look forward to applying what I learn through leadership, volunteering, and extracurricular activities to real-world problems.