Scholar of the Week

Roya Edalatpour      
University of Texas at El Paso

For Roya Edalatpour it was a robot she built out of LEGOs as a child that helped her realize engineering was her calling. 

Roya distinctly remembers being the only girl in her seventh grade Robotics class, and while other pre teens may have found it discouraging, Roya focused her energy on the understanding that this was where she needed to be. That passion led Roya to become the President of the first ever competitive robotics team at her high school in El Paso. This opportunity instilled in her a sense of leadership and appreciation for team work and also reinforced her educational goals. During this time, Roya became interested in biomedical engineering. She felt passionate about being able to combine her interests in medicine and engineering to create technologies that could help save lives and assist doctors in their medical care delivery to patients. 

With this in mind, Roya graduated high school and found the program she was looking for at the University of Texas at El Paso where she is currently a senior pursuing a bachelor’s in electrical engineering with a concentration in biomedical engineering, with the ultimate goal of obtaining an M.D./Ph.D. dual degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Boston University School of Medicine, which she has gained early acceptance to. 

In the meantime, Roya is hoping to have direct impact on the local El Paso community and address the needs of the large Hispanic population through her research. She is well aware that the El Paso public school system lacks the resources and programs needed to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM, and so she took her concerns to the White House and made it her mission to inform policymakers and business leaders about the shortcoming of STEM education. This resulted in a new program to train educators and students in computer programming as well as the addition of extracurricular STEM programs.

Roya is a 2015 HENAAC Scholar, who received a $2,125 scholarship sponsored by Rockwell Collins. 

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