WiE-UC February Newsletter

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WiE - UC Newsletter IEEE Student Branch of the UC - Women in Engineering Affinity Group


IEEE WiE interviews Nádia Cruz Nádia Cruz is the communication and marketing manager in the Portuguese branch of Natixis, one of the reference corporate and investment banks in France. Before that, she had already worked at Sonae and jp.group, also in the field of marketing and communication. She holds a degree in Communication Sciences: Journalism, Public Relations & Multimedia from FLUP (Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto); a master in International Business from FEP (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto), and a post-graduation in Digital Marketing from IPAM (Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing). 1. You started your career path by taking a degree in Communication Sciences: Journalism, Public Relations & Multimedia. However you are now working on Marketing & Communication. How did you notice that “traditional journalism” (i.e., TV reporting, news production, etc) does not fit 100% on you? I wanted to be a journalist from a very young age: still as a kid, I enjoyed a lot watching the TV news with my parents and found out that writing was something I really loved to do. I’ve never doubted myself until I finished my bachelor’s final internship and realized that the media job market was going through very rough times. It would be very difficult to find a job... At this point, I’ve decided to apply for a professional internship at an international marketing department that was just being set up. I was sure I was going to hate it, but this was my 1year plan until I decide the master’s degree to apply for and figure out how to come back to the “journalistic hunting”. Guess what? I ended up falling in love for the corporate world. 2. What part of what you do, you love the most? My days never being the same. In one day, I may be full of meetings with a lot of different people, departments and suppliers, but the day after, I may be all busy with my team organizing an internal event. I have some focus days just at my desk, planning, writing and producing, while I’ve other crazy ones, jumping between places, conversations and purposes. Monotony doesn’t exist in my job and that’s what really takes me out of bed every morning.

3. What was the most challenging work experience you ever had? Why? The first times at Natixis were really challenging: starting something from scratch, a company and a brand that were totally unknown in Portugal…we were building, at the same time, the corporate and the employer brand with very demanding goals from the head office. At the time, I was by myself in the communication department and in my first two months in the company, we’ve produced the Natixis in Portugal corporate video and organized the local inauguration event with more than 100 guests, including Natixis CEO and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa.


4. During your path, did you ever feel any kind of discrimination for being a woman? What challenges do women face in academia? In my field – communication, marketing -, maybe because we have more women than men, I’ve never felt any kind of discrimination. However, in the corporate world, I still believe women are seen as the weakest link of big departments, executive committees and boards. We have a long way to go so that companies, universities and other organizations don’t need to have quotas to make sure women are represented at higher levels. I dream of the time when this will be just a natural process. 5. Have you ever been a member of an organization such as Women in Engineering WiE during your path as a student and researcher? What would you say to encourage young students to ingress in this type of organization? I haven’t and I really regret it. Now that I’m so involved in our Champion For Change project, meeting and networking with so many inspiring women – students and professionals -, I wish I could have participated in similar projects and organizations like WiE before. For all the young students out there: make the best of your time as a student to make sure you start making an impact in the world. It may start at a small scale, but you will be able to do big things. And the purpose shall not be a beautiful CV: make it to help building women’s role in the society, to make yourself relevant and create a better future not just for you, but for all the ones who will come next. And on top of it, you are building your own network, accessing multiple platforms of knowledge and making good friends. 6. What are the most challenging aspects of a woman in your work/company? And the most gratifying ones? At Natixis, I would mention Champion For Change both as one of the most challenging and most gratifying projects. Challenging because there’s still a long way to go in the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the .

STEM fields and gratifying because I can see the results with the smallest initiatives, events, meetings or conversations. Change happens with small steps and it’s a real gift to be part of it. 5. We’re aware that Natixis has some projects related to inclusion of girls/women in tech, such as the program called Champion for Change. Can you tell us a little bit more about how it works, the outputs, and what is the importance of such programs for Natixis? Champion for Change is one of the key initiatives of Natixis in Portugal’s Environmental and Social Responsibility strategy. It was launched in 2019 with the purpose of stimulating and promoting the presence and work of girls and women in the world of technology, reinforcing the message that the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics are not a monopoly of any gender and must be followed by women and men, with the same opportunities. Education is our field of work, meaning that we promote a strong interaction with schools, having our Natixis employees as volunteers to spread their knowledge about the IT world and job market, while going to schools and welcoming students at our premises.

Finally, as a bit of humor… 8. If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs - such as food and water - were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you and why? A music device (mp3, ipod or cell phone… would it be allowed? :) ) because all moments of my life need a soundtrack. An empty diary so I could write down all my adventures.

Carolina Travassos


Biography ADRIANA OCAMPO Adriana C. Ocampo was born on January 5th, 1955, in Barranquilla, Colombia. Although born in Colombia, the first years of Adriana’s life were spent in Argentina and she has been living in the United States since her teen years. Currently living in Washington D.C., Adriana is a planetary geologist and science program manager at the NASA headquarters with a major expertise on asteroids and the impact craters that they have left behind on Earth. The scientist’s interest in space exploration was evident from an early age. Adriana C. Ocampo turned her dolls into astronauts and built spaceships out of kitchen utensils. She never went to bed without looking at the stars and contemplating outer space. “Space exploration was my passion from a very young age, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. I would dream and design space colonies while sitting atop the roof of my family’s home in Argentina.” At school in Argentina, Adriana C. Ocampo had been steered toward a career in business or accounting. Fortunately, at the age of 14, her family moved to the United States and Adriana was able to study physics and calculus in her new high school in Pasadena, California. Encouraged by her parents during high school and graduate studies, Adriana joined a scout troop that was sponsored by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where now she serves as the lead program executive. From there, she got a volunteering position and then a summer job at JPL. During this journey she also got a bachelor’s degree in Geology and a masters’ degree in Planetary Geology from California State University at Los Angeles and earned a .


doctorate from Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands. Adriana was the first to recognize that a ring of sinkholes, or “cenotes,” found in a place in southern Mexico called Chicxulub was related to the buried impact crater. The Chicxulub impact caused the extinction of more than half the Earth’s species, including the dinosaurs, at the end of the Cretaceous period some 65 million years ago. For her contribution to space exploration, she was awarded the Woman of the Year Award in Science from the Comision Femenil in 1992, received the Advisory Council for Women Award from the JPL in 1996 and the Science and Technology Award from the Chicano Federation in 1997. In 2002, Adriana was named one of the most important women in science by the Discover magazine! Adriana has won several awards honouring women in science but the asteroid named after her Asteroid 177120 Ocampo Uría - really was the icing on the cake.

Marta Pais


Curiosity of the month... Meet Alyssa “Blueberry” Carson, the girl that reaches for the stars… quite literally. Saying Alyssa Carson is a determined young women is an understatement. At 3 years old, she knew she wanted to become an astronaut, and today (at just 19!) with a pilot’s license and officially certified to hitch a ride to space, Alyssa hopes to be the first human to walk on Mars, by 2030. Alyssa has attended every NASA space camp and was the youngest person to be accepted and graduate from the Advanced PoSSUM Academy, an immersive astronautics program for advanced high-school and undergraduate students. By now, she has all figured out: after graduating, she’ll get her master’s at International Space University in France, and a Ph.D. in astrobiology. Then, it’s time to apply to NASA! This little “Blueberry” got her nickname during her second space camp: she was too small for a regular flight suit and had to wear a knock off instead (which was… a deeper blue than the normal suits). The name stuck, and is now her official call sign! When the matter is “Mars”, Alyssa is fearless. “Matt Damon did it, so why can’t we?”, Alyssa says. Seems about right! Me? I’ll stick to the candy bar!


Miriam Santos

Achievement MARCELLE SOARES-SANTOS Marcelle Soares-Santos is a brazilian Physicist and an Assistant Professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Her research is mainly focused on the nature of the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Due to her outstanding work in this field, in 2019 she was awarded a “Sloan Research Fellowship”. This fellowship is given annually to 126 researchers by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support and SOURCE: BRANDEIS.EDU recognize early-career scientists and scholars who show potential to contribute This is an amazing achievement and we greatly to their field. Each winner is hope to hear more about Marcelle’s work selected based on what they've in the future. accomplished so far and also on their potential to become leaders in their fields and receives a $70.000 two-year Filipa Moreira fellowship to help with their projects.