Mastering math and science in mechanical engineering
Dae’Ja Harris made a plan and is carrying out her goals. She chose to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette because of her liking for smaller campuses.
“While researching colleges, I was looking for a small in-state college. College Track introduced UL Lafayette so I decided to attend since it has small classrooms like I was looking for and it’s close enough to home where I can be on my own but not too far away.”
Dae’Ja knew she wanted to study science and math and decided to major in mechanical engineering.
“I took an Intro to Engineering course during my senior year of high school and decided that’s what I wanted to study. After researching the different disciplines, it seemed like mechanical was the broadest so that’s what I chose to study to give myself flexibility after graduating,” she said.
For her minor, she chose math because of her love for numbers over words.
“A math minor allows me to study engineering while taking interest in my favorite subject,” she said.
“My favorite part of my program is probably the labs and math courses. Labs catch my attention more than lectures because they allow me to be hands-on and visually see what I’m expected to learn. Math is my favorite subject so I’m always open to learning more about it.”
Her favorite class outside of her major was DANC 102.
“I took it during my freshman year with Marie Broussard. There weren’t many quizzes and 99% of the semester was used for learning ballet. It was a great class to get my body active in the morning,” she said.
The positive impact of Black-led organizations on campus
Dae’Ja is a member of UL Lafayette’s Black Student Union (BSU), and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and she also worked at the Office for Campus Diversity. She believes BSU and NSBE are vital organizations at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“The Black Student Union is important at UL Lafayette because it’s special to have community in spaces where you’re the minority. There’s always someone nearby that may share your interests but it’s more encouraging witnessing people that look like you working to accomplish similar goals...”
BSU’s mission is to, “stimulate the intellectual, political, cultural, and social growth of all students at UL Lafayette.” Dae’Ja’s favorite memories with BSU included the weeklong events during BLACKPRINT and the BSU study hall sessions.
“While being involved with the Black Student Union, I am also involved with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). I also attend their study halls because there’s a higher chance of receiving help with my homework and there are many opportunities to mingle with black people that understand the highs and lows of majoring in STEM,” she said.
After graduating from UL Lafayette, Dae’Ja hopes to land more internship opportunities that align with her interests and career goals.