The Graduate School Advance to a Higher Degree

Matilde Sanchez-Pena

One of the main barriers that students of color face when joining engineering is the lack of role models and mentors of their same ethnicity. So Matilde and her team are looking at the reasons for this shortage of faculty of color, in particular women of color faculty because they face double challenges due to their gender and race within a field that is traditionally dominated by white males.

Why Purdue?

Because their program in engineering education is a pioneer and leader

Career goal?

To become a faculty member, so I can help in changing minds for the best.

Favorite fact about Purdue?

I don´t feel like a number; I feel cared about.

Three words that best describe your work?

Diversity, inclusion, faculty

If you have free time, how do you choose to spend it?

Working out, reading, Facebooking, hanging out.

What’s your workspace setup like?

A small computer lab most of the time. It has space for 4 and has a big window that keeps us with natural light all day. Otherwise, I also like to work at coffee shops with headphones on, so I can see people and feel movement around me without being distracted by anything in particular. My third station is my desk at home.

What do you listen to while you work?

I like to explore music from different genre including electric, jazz, folk, and even different countries. Often I try to look for those without lyrics when working so I don´t get distracted.

What are you currently reading, or what is the last thing you read (aside from academic reading)?

Essay about Blindness, by José Saramago

What’s your sleep routine like?

I enjoy being an early-riser better. It feels so good to reach 11am and have knocked down a ton in my to do list

How do you recharge physically and/or mentally?

Spending time with my husband and friends

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Never allow anybody shadow the light on me

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