Women Leaders in STEM at UNL

In celebration of Women’s History Month, University Career Services in collaboration with student leaders Sophia Deras and Andrea Goertzen at the University of Nebraska Lincoln invite students, faculty, staff, and alumni to attend a panel session and discussion about current issues facing women of color in STEM fields. The event will take place Tuesday, March 23 at 5:30pm via Zoom. We will feature an extraordinary group of women from a variety of fields who will share their unique experiences as women of color in STEM fields.

In this article you will learn more about Sophia and Andrea, two outstanding student leaders who are driven, motivated, and passionate about STEM.

Sophia Deras

Hi! My name is Sophia, I am a Sophomore Civil Engineering major, Geology minor from Fort Worth, Texas. On campus I have the privilege of celebrating UNL’s diversity through the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society, OASIS, and as an NSE Orientation leader. In my free time I enjoy painting and crochet.

What sparked your interest in this field?

Growing up in a large metropolitan area, I was always enamored with the giant highways, skyscrapers, and bridges. I enjoyed math and physics but never saw Engineering as a career path since I often felt left out or othered in the classroom, and I wasn’t interested in feeling that way during my career. As I started to tour colleges, though, I realized it’s what I love, and I’ve found a home in Nebraska Engineering.


Why do you encourage students to attend the Women of Color in STEM Career Panel?

Students don’t often have the opportunity to hear from professionals working in the field, this event can help give valuable insight into what was helped the panelists in their transition from college to the work force. For women of color in STEM, hearing firsthand what a fellow woman has experienced is invaluable insight we don’t often get.


Andrea Goertzen

Hi! My name is Andrea, and I am a sophomore chemical engineering student here at UNL. I am very interested in biomedical applications of chemical engineering, and I hope to one day work in the biotechnology industry.

What sparked your interest in this field?

I decided to study engineering because I have always loved math and science, and engineers use these tools everyday to improve the lives of people around them. I am involved in several outreach programs to encourage kids in the community to be excited about engineering as well.

Why do you encourage students to attend the Women of Color in STEM Career Panel?

This panel will be a great opportunity to hear about the successes of women of color in STEM fields, and learn about how they were able to use the things they learned in their undergraduate experience to achieve them. I am very excited to learn more about the bright future that STEM students have to look forward to!

Students can register for this event on Handshake.

On the day of the event faculty, staff, and alumni, click here to be directed to the event.

For questions and information pertaining this event please contact First Gen, Career Advisor Letty Garcia at leticia.garcia@unl.edu.

By Letty Garcia
Letty Garcia Career Advisor