Kyara Gandara (she/her) is an S-STEM Scholar at San Diego State University. In this S-STEM Scholar Spotlight, Kyara shares about her experiences in her S-STEM program and how those experiences have contributed to her current path in STEM.
Being an S-STEM Scholar has been a life changing chapter in my life. For years I have been looking for a cohort that made me feel like I belonged. I’m part of MESA, SHPE, SWE, ASME, SACNAS, but being a S-STEM scholar is my Cinderella glass shoes, or should I say leather studded stomping boots. The event I participated in was the inaugural S-STEM Scholars Meeting in Washington, D.C. during the dates of September 14-16. Because of this experience, I have subscribed to the AAAS membership to look into more events. S-STEM was a dream come true; I was able to network with professionals participating in STEM research as well as art. I have a BFA in Animation and am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with an Emphasis on Dynamics and Controls.
To see powerful women complete their PhDs and still work on art projects, such as comic books and TV Show script writing, it reassured me that I don’t have to choose a pre-existing job. Rather, I can make one where I can be both a scientist and artist. These titans of women changed the end game in career building, where you can definitely work the job you enjoy. Not only that, meeting these women made me take up a research experience in SDSU’s Dynamic Systems and Intelligent Machines (DSIM) Lab as a Graduate Robotics Mechanical Engineer. Plus, I volunteer as Professional Development Co-Chair in the Society of Women Engineers’ San Diego County Professional Section. I’m a full time grad student, I have a part time research experience, and a part time volunteering experience. My schedule is full but I’m happy to use my new knowledge to help STEAM youth grow in their academic and career roads.
I want to be a Director of Robotics Engineering. I will manifest a new world order where people can be in a workplace that makes them feel included and respected. I have 100+ hours of professional development hours, and continue to participate. I love the rush and danger of a project with unknown outcomes. My romance is developing robotics that can make the lives of scientists and day to day people easier. I want to learn from professionals and interchange knowledge. I breathe empathy and patience for those who need me to be their assistant in their problem-solving or if they simply need my shoulder to emotionally regulate.
Connect with Kyara on LinkedIn.
The S-STEM Scholar Spotlight series shares stories, builds community, and highlights students and alumni and their S-STEM programs. Learn more and submit your spotlight today.