2 Photos. first photo,Nipa Dey. second photo, Maryam Saqib

Nipa Dey and Maryam Saqib are Hostos alumnae. But what makes them particularly special is that they are the first two women to graduate from Hostos’ Dual Degree Engineering Program with The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering.
Both Dey and Saqib enrolled at Hostos in 2009 and have since gone on to successful careers working as engineers. Their journey is also remarkable because, even though the gap is closing, women comprise a smaller percentage of people working in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
While both women share this distinction their stories are remarkable and unique.

Nipa Dey

Nipa Dey
Dey immigrated to the United States with her family in 2008 from Bangladesh. She had been studying in dental school there, and her plan was to go back and finish her education. But when that did not work out, she took a job working in a Manhattan restaurant after she moved to NYC for good.

During her physiology courses, she learned how different physical phenomena occurred in the human body. But, because anatomy and physiology don’t specifically delve into why these phenomena happen, she was drawn to engineering. Dey enrolled and began her engineering classwork at Hostos in August 2009, and the rest is history.
Although she was aware that engineering was a male-dominated field, that never stopped her, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The City College of New York in May 2014.

Dey now works as a test engineer in a “global battery system lab” for General Motors in Warren, Michigan.
Dey said she wouldn’t be where she is now without the help she received at Hostos and from professors like Yoel Rodríguez. “All of my professors—particularly Professor Rodríguez —were very inspiring,” Dey said. “Professor Rodríguez was a great mentor and always kept me focused on my academic career.”
As for other inspiring engineers, male or female, Dey said students should find something they like doing and work hard.
“Engineering is a lifelong learning path. The key to success is hard work. Female students should never believe that gender orientation has anything to do with their professional life. If you are determined to be an engineer, get involved in hands-on work such as research. Hands-on experiences adds meaning to classroom knowledge and makes engineering fun.”

Maryam Saqib

Maryam Saqib

Maryam Saqib also immigrated to the United States with her family as a young woman. She and her parents were born in Kuwait, and her grandparents are from Pakistan.
She learned about Hostos from her guidance counselor at her Yonkers high school. While she was apprehensive about enrolling, the Dual Degree Engineering Program sparked her interest. Saqib’s interest in engineering actually started at home. Her late father worked as a mechanical engineer, and she decided to follow in his footsteps to honor both of her parents.
“I really chose chemical engineering specifically because I always enjoyed studying chemistry in high school and was very passionate about the subject.”
Fast forward to 2015, and Saqib has already completed an internship with the New York State Department of Public Transportation and is currently working for the New York State Department of Public Commission as a junior engineer.
“When I look back, I am really glad I chose to study at Hostos. I had one of the best professors in Yoel Rodríguez and others at Hostos who prepared me well for my senior level courses,” Saqib said, adding that she particularly enjoyed science and math at Hostos and professors Daniel Maysonet (mathematics), Tanvir Prince (mathematics), Francisco Fernández (chemistry), and Nelson Nuñez-Rodríguez (chemistry).
As far as being a woman in a male-dominated profession, Saqib encourages other inspiring female engineers to not let that get in the way.
“I was aware that engineering is a male-dominated field, but that didn’t discourage me. I believe that you need to be passionate and work hard, regardless of gender.”

Saqib said that other future female engineers should concentrate on learning mathematics and take advantage of internship possibilities.
“You really should concentrate on understanding math, especially differentials, since you’ll be utilizing that knowledge a lot during your junior/senior years,” Saqib said.  “I would also recommend doing internships and research while you have a chance. Women should not be discouraged because they are less in number in comparison to male students. You simply have to give you best and be confident.”
About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College's unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services. 

Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY's four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation's leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges