2016 Regions Riding Forward® Winning Essay by Eniola A.

As the sun rises over the banks of the Mississippi River, my daily routine begins with getting ready for the school day. Being an Industrial Engineering student at Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge Campus, the month of February means a lot more to me than the average student. The month of February is traditionally Black History Month and in early education most are taught to embrace the past blacks in history such as Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Harriet Tubman, and others. History is consistently being accomplished and composed everyday by African American men and women such as the pioneers listed who never saw failure as an option. 

Those pioneers took their drive for change and mobilized it into action. There are no limits to achieving goals in life unless you put them there. Every day I attend school with fresh ambition and inspiration from my modern day Harriet Tubman. She is an innovator, educator, inventor, mentor, researcher, and engineer. Her name is Dr. Arielle Drummond. She wears many hats and has strength of purpose to lead. 

From mentor to innovator, Dr. Drummond has reached many heights and continues to stretch the horizon of her goals. Dr. Drummond started her education at the University of North Carolina where she completed her Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering. Diligently graduating with her masters and doctorate in Biomedical Engineering she also acquired several accolades to her name. She published numerous research papers, received prestigious fellowships, presented at national conferences, and presented at an international conference in South Korea. 

During her doctorial candidacy at Carnegie Mellon, she developed a surgical simulation tool using reconstructed anatomy from CT images for implantation of a pediatric ventricular assist device (PVAD). She worked on a collaborative project with the University of Pittsburgh medical center to develop a blood pump for infants and children with heart failure. Dr. Drummond’s continued dedication to the Biomedical Engineering field has inspired me to continue my journey in engineering as well. The results of her dedication has made an impact on society concerning the development of blood pumps for children. Speaking from someone who has had a heart murmur during their childhood this confirms that anything is possible with determination and perseverance. 

Engineering is a diversified field that broadens your critical thinking skills, increases your leadership qualities, influences your mentorship abilities, and upholds ethical service to the world on a global perspective. Being an Engineer will not only help me grow mentally, but it will increase my leadership qualities in allowing me to inspire others, just as others have inspired me. Committed to make a difference in the field, I dedicate myself to motivating the females around me especially the young girls who come after me. Being mentored by an African American female Engineer brought value to my life and developed me as a student and as a person. In reciprocation, that is what I hope to do for others as I continue my education in Engineering!


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