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Noora Dawood

Born and raised in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, I was exposed to some of the most fascinating and interesting engineering projects while I was growing up. The Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Airport, and the Palm Jumeirah have been some of the most jaw-dropping projects for me to witness as Dubai grew into the business hub it is today.

I graduated high school from Al Ittihad Private School in my home city. In the fall of 2015, I joined the Global UCF program and began my pursuit to attain of a degree in Electrical Engineering at UCF. When the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offered a power and renewable energy track, I jumped at the opportunity to take classes geared towards preparing me to become a power engineer. Back home, renewables are gaining popularity as my country prepares to become less oil-reliant.

Involvement-wise, I started off as a math tutor for international students. Then I went on to work as a project assistant in the vice-president’s office where I contributed to various projects UCF Downtown, UCF Global, Collective Impact Strategic Plan, and the Haiti Solar Panel Project. From there, I then interned at Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit that aims to design, develop, and deliver disability technology to people who need it. During my time at Limbitless Solutions I grew as an electrical engineer and gained valuable experience designing circuits.

Currently, I am a Teaching-Assistant for the College of Engineering and Computer Science, a position that requires me to apply all my past experiences to teach incoming freshman engineering students. In their first semester, they gain practical exposure of electrical and computer engineering through the Texas Instrument Robotics Learning kit. In this course, my objective is to teach them fundamentals of electrical engineering as well as some concepts of embedded systems and computer architecture.

So far, my favorite class has been Computer Organization taught by Dr. Ronald DeMara. This class fueled my interest in computer design. Moreover, it is one of the few classes in CECS taught in mixed mode. Outside of academics, I enjoy spending time outdoors either hiking, biking, swimming, or kayaking. Since moving to Florida, I have taken up power yoga, which has helped me master mindfulness and build my body strength.

I have chosen to become a STEM Ambassador because I would like to take advantage of outreach opportunities. I want to show young students how fun and exciting the STEM field can be, highlight the value of a college education, and emphasize the importance of engaging in what you love and enjoy. I advise future STEM students to not be intimidated by the workload or the complexity of the course names. Your mind will always be your biggest enemy. Teaching yourself to overcome mental battles while pursuing a challenge is not easy, but there will always be people to help if you seek it.