Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Nadine Humphrey

Major: Chemical Engineering Minor: Bioengineering
Hometown: Upper Malboro, MD
High School: Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College

Why you chose Pitt:

I wasn’t sure about Pitt before I came up to visit. I came up to Pittsburgh in November of my senior year to check out the campus. I fell in love immediately. The campus atmosphere was open and we were right by Schenley Park. The students looked happy to be there. When I toured the engineering building, it was a done deal. I met with a representative from Pitt EXCEL, the undergraduate engineering diversity program, that assured me that I would be able to find both academic and emotional support. The diverse range of engineering majors was a big appeal, as I was not sure what I would major in at the time. Finally, the sheer amount of extracurricular activities had me sold. From engineering organizations to step teams to co-op to research, I could only be limited by my own effort if I wanted to participate in everything. The Swanson tour guides were helpful and weren’t afraid to give their honest assessment. And it was in Pitt’s favor.

Advice to First Year Engineering Student:

My advice is pretty standard, I think. Join at least two clubs to keep a good work-life balance. You don’t want every waking moment to be physics or calculus problems. Start building your network early. If you’re struggling, talk to your professors and your TAs. It’s intimidating as all hell, but it can give you a better understanding of the material and some time for you to get to know who’s in control of your grade. If you're unsure about what major to choose, talk to upperclassmen, your advisor, even the professors in different departments. Having other narratives to think about can be good when considering a major. And make sure you get enough sleep and take care of your health. It’ll give you more energy throughout the day.

Extracurricular involvement and or Future Goals:

I am currently a junior Chemical Engineering student at Pitt. I was a member of the step team, Anointed Steps of Faith for two years and a member of Rainbow Alliance last semester. I am also a current member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Professional Development Co-Chair for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Throughout my sophomore year, I did research in the Banerjee lab, working with stem cells to treat Type I Diabetes. Last year, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Vira I Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. Through this program, I went to Japan for five weeks to observe the connection between culture and business practices, and I was able to explore the Kansai region. As of Fall 2018,  I am on co-op at a space and defense company, working in their biotech sector. In my downtime, I knit, draw, and go to Pitt Arts events.