Joy's interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics began in middle school, but the terms “scientist” and “mathematician” were the extent of her understanding about a future career.
Then she got involved with robotics.
“I started in high school with the electrical team, moved on to sensors, then to operations – business, marketing, and outreach,” she said. “I had so much fun, built precious relationships with mentors and other students, and went through great experiences big and small.”
Her experience with the electrical team stuck with her, so she decided to pursue electrical engineering.
Joy says her robotics mentor from school convinced her that starting at a community college would not only reduce the financial burden of higher education, but would open great opportunities through its community and diversity. Originally from Yong-In, South Korea, Joy spent her teen years in Columbia, Maryland, where her uncle lives. Proximity and a wide variety of STEM programs lead her to Howard Community College (HCC).
At HCC, Joy excelled. She was accepted into the STEM Scholars program, a selective and challenging honors program for graduating high school seniors wishing to transfer to four-year schools, and built family-like relationships with several communities at the college, including the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honors society, Engineering Club/Society of Women Engineers, and Mixed Martial Arts Club.
In addition to being vice president of communication and public relations for PTK, she was named HCC’s Science, Engineering, and Technology Division’s Student of the Year, was placed on the PTK All-Maryland Community College First Academic Team, and was one of the 2018 graduating class’ Students of Academic Excellence, earning a $1,000 scholarship from the Howard Community College Educational Foundation.
Her favorite classes include STEM seminars with Dr. Loretta Tokoly and Adrian Kuhlman, Calculus III with Dr. Frederick Lang, physics classes with Dr. Alexander Barr and Dr. Dean Sheridan, and engineering courses with Professor Scott Foerster.
Joy graduated in May with an associate degree in engineering, with an emphasis on electrical engineering. She is spending the summer completing an internship on campus and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland, College Park to continue her studies in electrical engineering.
She admits she’s still not sure what she wants to do as an electrical engineer, but she is positive she wants to study more into electronics, sensors, and circuits – specifically small circuits.
“I love the people I meet in engineering and have so much fun in the field,” she said.
She says HCC has helped her grow in many ways.
“I got more confident, I have a lot of support, I can see what I want to do in my life, I can define who I am a little better, and I feel more prepared.”
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