Though she said it can be difficult being person of color and an engineering student, Janera Allen has made her mark during her four years at the University of Wisconsin.
UW researchers are working to better understand how to help stroke and epilepsy victims recover from their symptoms with brain scans and rehabilitative therapy. Allen, a undergraduate senior graduating this year, works as an assistant researcher in a lab to help improve the lives of these patients.
Allen is also a UW engineering student and president of the UW student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. She studies material science engineering, focused on biomaterials.
Groups like NSBE have propelled her to pursue engineering, she said.
“We are a small group, and it’s comforting seeing other people who look like you and come from similar backgrounds as you,” Allen said. “It’s just been empowering. We try to encourage each other to stick through it.”