Shecota Nez

Engineering Futures Scholar

Shecota (Rae) Nez, a freshman biomedical engineering student at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and, said she chose to pursue her major when her robotics team in high school qualified for championships. 

The championship tournament featured engineering companies, like Boeing, SpaceX and Tesla, that set up booths to encourage kids to pursue STEM careers. After Nez noticed an engineer slicing a piece of meat with a laser at one of the booths, she inquired more about their career fields and found out they had a biomedical engineering degree and wanted to research it more. 

“I sat down and I looked into it more and I was like ‘Oh, this is interesting’,” Nez said. 

While visiting her sister at Arizona State University, who is a Junior chemical engineering student, on campus during high school, she noted how comfortable the environment felt and liked the amount of resources offered for tutoring and advising. She ultimately decided the school was a good fit for her. 

“It’s far enough from home, but it’s close enough I can go back and see my friends and see my family and stuff like that,” Nez said. 

Nez said it was a smooth transition from high school to college, but she didn’t know what to expect from her chemistry class since her high school chemistry class didn’t go as in-depth in the curriculum as her class does now in college.

Nez’s favorite part of college so far is the freedom and said that Barbara Smith, one of her professors, impacted her when she explained how versatile her degree was. 

“I was really intrigued by how she was able to use her degree in different ways,” Nez said. “At first I was kind of afraid of my degree maybe not being that versatile.” 

Nez recommends that if any of the incoming freshmen have the opportunity to shadow an engineering student for a day that it will help tailor their interests in what they want to focus on while attending school. 

“It gives you a little bit of what it would be like to go into that degree or what it would be like to take that class,” Nez said.

By Laura Stack, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
May 12, 2020