Ngozi Ezeokeke is a recipient of a Fellowship from the Marcy Migdal Fund for Educational Equality. The award supports exceptional students engaged in activities aimed at enhancing access to education for vulnerable students, either locally or throughout the world, and helping them succeed in their education. Click here to learn more about the Marcy Migdal Fund.
Ngozi Ezeokeke is a master’s student in the Materials Science & Engineering department. One of her goals during her time at the UW, both as an undergrad and graduate student has been to help increase diversity within the STEM field. This is evident through her roles as a current board member of A Vision for Electronic Literacy & Access (AVELA), president of the UW chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in 2019-20, and her participation in Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) programming.
The Marcy Migdal Fellowship funds will support AVELA, an RSO created in early 2020 by UW engineering students Kyle Johnson, Vicente Arroyos, Raul Villanueva, and Diana Verduzco. AVELA’s membership is composed of underrepresented minority students, defined by the National Science Foundation as African American, Hispanic, American Indian and Pacific Islander. AVELA’s mission is to provide more opportunities for underrepresented elementary, middle, and high school students to pursue their interests in college and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by leading workshops, camps, student panels, and other forms of community outreach while representing the populations being supported. For UW students, AVELA offers an opportunity to gain hands-on experience developing and presenting STEM activities for and to K-14 students.
Before teaching any classes, AVELA members first meet with the stakeholders at local schools to determine which STEM concepts the students want to learn about. Afterwards, AVELA members create lesson plans for projects that are catered towards the specific interests of those students, while also covering the academic concepts required of them in their respective grades through Washington State’s Common Core Standards. AVELA’s current partners include Seattle Public Schools, the Kent School District, the City of Seattle, Seattle MESA, the Seattle Urban League, UW GearUp, Microsoft Research, UW College of Engineering, UW Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, Mercer MS, Denny MS, Kentridge HS (BSU), Foster HS, Garfield HS, Cleveland HS, Auburn HS, Mariner HS, and Highline CC.
The Marcy Migdal Fellowship will help provide funding for AVELA student teachers, purchase physical hardware and resources, as well as online software.