Chiamaka is a captain of the Brown University women’s track and field team who competes in both the triple jump and the heptathlon. Chiamaka is a tour guide and a student admission representative with the Office of College Admission.
I picked Brown because I wanted a place that would maximize my happiness. I knew that studying engineering and being a student athlete would be stressful, but the social environment here is unmatched. Brown has a culture of kindness that’s collaborative, not competitive.
Being a captain of track and field pushes me outside of my comfort zone in many ways. I’m fairly timid, but as captain I have to use my voice, direct people, communicate information to and from the coaches, speak at big team meetings, and be aware of much more than just myself.
I loved the first-year seminar Belonging and Displacement: Cross-Cultural Identities. I moved around quite a bit growing up and have definitely struggled with belonging. I think the class attracted students from complex backgrounds who shared similar struggles. It was really validating and eye-opening to learn about our shared experiences that manifested in supremely different ways.
I’m in Barus and Holley (the building that houses the School of Engineering) all day, every day. I love its versatility. It has different conference rooms and open spaces where you can study. I like the versatility of the labs and the Brown Design Workshop. The wellness room is available to you if you ever need a moment to yourself, and it even has stress toys and meditation techniques posted on the wall. You can chill out, or even take a nap.
I’d really like to pursue a career that explores when engineering goes wrong and materials fail — like bridges collapsing or columns breaking during construction — and focus on mitigating those sorts of risks.
One of my favorite parts of engineering is the human factor. You need to understand the STEM concepts and have the technical and software skills, but every project you create serves humans with a different set of needs that you must understand. I like that it’s interdisciplinary and requires more than one branch of knowledge.