I want to use my engineering background to help women create innovative ideas to bridge the gap between genders.
During Commencement, Mona received the Eleanor D. Decker Prize for Women for the woman in the graduating class who best represents the ideals fostered by Bucknell University: intellectual maturity, personal conviction, and strength of character, and the Burma-Bucknell Award for outstanding contributions to international understanding within the University community.
"I love engineering and have had the opportunity to pursue both civil and environmental engineering research projects here —- from transforming food waste into energy to mapping manure use so we can learn how specific practices can lead to infections in humans. However, my second major in women's & gender studies gives me the ability to look at design problems with different eyes. What and how you design is important, but you also have to think about who benefits and who pays the consequences.
"My primary interest is in accessibility to water and innovative ways to approach water management in the developing world. For many people, water is a life or death issue. It's a source of societal conflict that leads to war. Accessibility to water is also a feminist issue because many women must supply water to their communities before they can even think about going to school.
"I've been involved in many activities on campus as well. I've loved helping other international students transition to Bucknell as an international orientation leader and I've furthered my leadership skills as an executive intern. Now, I'm most interested in sharing my voice in the conversations about social justice issues on campus and getting engineers involved through a new organization we've started called Engineers Take a Stand, which strives to help everyone in our community feel valued.
"I do eventually want to go back home to Yemen, but I plan to pursue a graduate degree in environmental engineering to study water management, accessibility and resources first. And, given the chance, I want to start a nongovernmental organization that addresses laws, norms and traditions that suppress women and hinder their productive participation for the benefit of society. I also want to use my engineering background to help women create innovative ideas to bridge the gap between genders."
Mona is from Sana'a, YemenPosted October 19, 2015