A photo of Cornell Engineering student BarbaraMajor: environmental engineering
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Can you describe a highlight from your time at Cornell?
My highlight of my time in Cornell is finding a group of amazing and determined women in Environmental Engineering who have now become life-long friends. They have brightened my time on campus and we are strong advocates for studying Environmental Engineering!

Did you have any extracurricular activities or project teams that you enjoyed during your time here?
Extracurriculars were a huge part of my Cornell experience. I was on the executive board for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) where I was able to meet other black engineers in different majors within Cornell and across the nation. NSBE has shown me the importance of diversity in STEM, and how to be an available resource within my community to help underclassmen. Additionally, I was in the engineering project team AguaClara since my sophomore year. AguaClara has pushed me to the “edge of knowledge” when it comes to innovative thinking needed to design sustainable, gravity-powered water treatment plants. I had an unforgettable experience in Honduras this January with the AguaClara team, where I was able to see my research come to life through numerous water treatment plant tours and meeting the incredible engineers and operators working there. These two organizations definitely have created a remarkable impact on my engineering career!

Do you have any plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to return to Cornell to do my masters degree in Engineering Management. I’m looking forward to spending one more year in Ithaca!

What will you miss about your time here?
There are so many little things I’ll miss about Cornell, but I know I’ll miss bringing Willard Straight Popcorn back to Hollister and hanging out on the 4th floor student lounge where I admittedly may have done more socializing than actual studying!

Do you have any advice, parting words of wisdom for undergrads?
Never be afraid to ask for help and use all available resources! They are there for a reason. Be open to meeting different people! You have instant access to invaluable and diverse connections right in front of you everyday.