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Regina A., 21 – FUNDED

Regina A. wants to combine her passions for art, fitness, and engineering in a way that can improve the quality of life for others. For her, this means a career in biotechnology, which she is eagerly chasing with a dual-degree program in Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering at University of Michigan-Dearborn. This New Face of Tech winner is also concurrently in an Accelerated Master’s program for Bioengineering!

“I’m ecstatic about this win… it will allow me to focus on finishing my three degrees so that I can find a career in biotechnology that will allow me to share my skills and ideas with the world,” she says.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

It means that I can show other women in STEAM that they are fully capable of paving their own path, overcoming obstacles, and living their personal, professional, and academic dreams.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

We can change this by exposing young girls to opportunities in STEAM from the very start. We must break down societal expectations that discourage women from entering fields that involve science and math.

Elementary, middle, and high schools should fund STEAM programs that put technology at the hands of all young students, giving girls an equal opportunity with boys to work with their hands and a chance to believe that they could have a career in STEAM, too.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

As a first-generation Filipina-American woman, I have faced many challenges while pursuing a career in tech. I am the first in my family to pursue a career in engineering, so I navigate many financial, academic, and professional obstacles myself.

My parents fund the educations of my six siblings, so I took it upon myself to be financially self-sufficient and lighten the load on their shoulders. I fund my own housing and transportation on top of my master’s degree, which I am pursuing concurrently with my bachelor’s degrees.

Growing up, I did not have another woman in STEM as a mentor, so I conquered the fear of choosing a career in tech which goes against many people’s expectations. I have faced the challenge of connecting with a team that consists entirely of men. It can be intimidating being the only woman.

It was also a challenge being a full-time student while working a part-time job without my own transportation for a couple of years.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

In times that I struggle to keep going, I look back at all the challenges that I thought were insurmountable at the time, yet overcame nonetheless. I realize that I have progressed to a point in my life that I never would have imagined, and I still have so much ahead of me.

I stay focused on my goals by sticking to a routine, reflecting on my experiences, and celebrating my achievements.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

It supports me while I pursue a master’s in Bioengineering. This degree will specifically enable me to explore the possibilities of biosensors, motion capture technology, and health measurement. I plan to apply this knowledge when studying injury prevention via kinematic analysis in my Human Factors and Biomechanics research lab.

I hope to build on all that I have learned about sports injury, movement technology, and experimental design. I especially want to focus my career on tech for women because there often exists a gender gap in research, where many more sports engineering studies are done on men than on women.

It is my dream to combine my passions of fitness, design, and technology. Support from the New Face of Tech Challenge will bring me one step closer to living that dream and sharing the wonders of biotech with others in a way that improves their quality of life.