On the 21st of May 2021, students from the Electrical Engineering Students Association(EESA) of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Terengganu branch, Malaysia, organized a webinar with a panel of speakers comprised of international students.
The webinar, ‘EESA International Webinar: Undergraduate Student’s Stem Experience’ (previously known as EESA International Stem Conference), was aimed to give an exposure to the various STEM practices one could specialize in as well as the increasing opportunities in each branch of the STEM fields. The talk featured panellists from Malaysia, The United States of America, India, Mexico, Turkey, and Egypt.
The STEM education system and the interest in engineering became the common ground for both the panellists and the 250+ attendees present during the webinar. Among the attendees was the honourable Rector of UiTM Terengganu, Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Mazidah Puteh, who also officiated the programme by sharing her remarkable words with those that were present. Dr Mazidah also attended the full-length webinar in support of the organizers.
The overall number of attendees were made up of both local and international students, as well as professionals. They were given a window of opportunity to interact with the speakers at the final session of the programme. Attendees were allowed to make enquiries and further broaden their knowledge on the relevant subjects.
Each of the panellists was allocated 20-30 minutes to share their understanding and experiences in STEM at their level of study and also to provide insights into the learning culture in their respective universities. One of the panellists, Renee Garcia (nanotechnology engineering major), mentioned how her field of study will help meet the environmental remediation demand of her country given that it receives the support that it needs to flourish.
A few of them even noted important societal issues that play an impact on the education opportunities and quality of engineering majors in their country. One of the issues highlighted was brought up by Zeynep Ozkan, a civil engineering student, who spoke about the internalised misogyny that surrounds her field of study and how it has created this gender gap that is still present today.
This programme successfully bridged students and professionals from around the globe while increasing their comprehension of the progressing STEM field from an undergraduate’s point of view. The diverse content provided by each panellist was impactful to everyone that was present that evening. The power of solidarity that mankind can achieve when intellectual curiosity is enticed, is evident in this conference that for a brief moment in time, united people from across the globe.
This program was managed by Siti Ulfah Sofia, the program organizer and Tengku Nur Izzuddin, the deputy program organizer, Nurin Athirah, the secretary of the program and Atiqah Syahrul as the emcee. The fellow committee members of the program were Firdaus Hakimi, Nurul Syakinah, Nur Atikah Syafiqah, Husna Damia and Ammar Hariz who were involved in handling the multimedia, protocol, technical and registration aspects of the programme .
Lastly, the international representative committee members who are in charge of networking and advertising, Megan Greggor from South Africa and İpek Çakiroglu from Turkey.
The panellists of the programme were Shah Izzati Afzan from Malaysia who is pursuing her Diploma in Electrical Engineering (power) at Universiti Teknologi Mara (Dungun, Terengganu branch); Akshat Totla from India who is majoring in Computer Science at New York University in Abu Dhabi; Zeynep Ozkan from Turkey who is majoring in Civil Engineering at Hacettepe University, Ankara; Seifeldin Maghawry from Egypt who is pursuing Mechatronics Engineering at Nile University; Ray Lee from the USA who is majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University Of Texas at Austin, Texas and lastly, Renee Garcia from Mexico who is pursuing Nanotechnology Engineering at Tecnologico de Monterrey.