Scholar of the Week

Sarah Garcia
2019 Oracle Academy Scholarship

University of South Florida

Since attending high school, Sarah Garcia wanted to change the way the world sees female engineers. Her involvement in the STEM community has given her multiple opportunities to encourage young women from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue their academic endeavours. Sarah was presented with an Oracle Academy Scholarship at the 2019 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Conference in recognition of her role as an outstanding role model and her drive to reshape the engineering field. Currently Sarah is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of South Florida (USF).

As Oracle’s global, philanthropic educational program, Oracle Academy advances computing education around the world to increase knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields.  It engages with thousands of educational institutions and educators in more than 120 countries, helping millions of students become college and career ready.   With Oracle Academy, students receive hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping make them college and career ready in the era of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, the Internet of Things, and beyond.

Oracle Academy North America supports outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, like Sarah, who are pursuing degrees in computer science or engineering at four-year colleges or universities.

As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, Sarah has always approached challenges directly. Her interest in engineering began when she had the opportunity in high school to take web design courses, enlightening her with the possibilities of where an engineering career could take her. Her fascination became passion, and before she began her first semester at the University of Florida (UF), Sarah enrolled in a program designed to integrate new students into the University’s Engineering College. Sarah quickly realized how few of her colleagues were women and how she could make a difference.

Not wasting any time, Sarah became involved with the Cade Science Museum in Gainesville, FL, where she taught underprivileged Girl Scouts the value of scientific discovery and the importance of pursuing STEM careers. Pursuing her desire to be a role model, Sarah joined Adobe’s Girls Who Code Program as a Computer Science Intern. Using her mentor experiences, Sarah guided a young student to develop her passion for sports through engineering fitness technology. Sarah maintained a close mentorship and guided the student until her enrollment in college.

Now enrolled at USF, Sarah currently serves as the Graduate Ambassador for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), offering workshops and providing resources to students interested in pursuing higher education. Sarah continues her passion for mentoring by channeling students to graduate school opportunities and by demonstrating ways to get involved at the USF campus.

Sarah plans to graduate with a PhD in Computer Science in December of 2022. Striving to be a role model for young women, especially Latinas seeking careers in STEM fields, Sarah shared her vision: “My career goal is to make an impact through innovative research in combining technology, education and art, with the aim to increase interest and initiatives for women in STEM.” 

GMiS is proud to recognize Sarah Garcia as a Scholar of the Week for her academic achievements and continued efforts to positively impact STEM fields, and invites you to learn more about past GMiS/Oracle Academy Scholars

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