Ti' Air Riggins



Ph.D. Biomedical/Neuro Engineering '20
M.S. Biomedical Engineering '13
B.S. Biomedical Engineering '11

Tell me a little bit about the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) summer programs.

These programs are aimed at exposing underrepresented students to engineering for the 6th − 12th graders. While the MITE program is aimed at preparing students for freshmen engineering courses and the college experience of freshmen engineers, ABC prepares students by allowing them to take courses similar to their freshmen courses and get involved with various engineering classes before they start their freshmen year, to give them a leg up on their courses in the fall.

What was your favorite part of the MEP summer programs?

My favorite part was watching the students build, compete, and work with the hands-on activities. It's quite amazing to see the growth in a student in such a short amount of time.

Why did you get involved with the MEP summer programs?

I worked during the school year as a graduate assistant for MEP and was asked to help out with the summer engineering programs. My background working with students previously had been rewarding, and I was eager to repeat the experience. 

Did you participate in a similar program when you were younger, and if so, how did it benefit you?

Yes, I participated in the Project Lead The Way curriculum at my high school and also attended a few engineering based summer campus as a teenager. Because of this exposure to STEM early on, I knew a lot about each discipline, what it took to prepare to be an engineer, and what discipline I wanted to go into before college. 

How did MEP affect you as an engineering student?

I was able to use the resources MEP offered throughout my collegiate career. I also had other students, faculty, and deans I was able to confide in when needed.

Would you recommend MEP to incoming students?

College is a tough time when people learn much more about themselves and their surroundings than they think. It's a good idea to have a solid support system in all aspects of college life. Academically, MEP is a good support system, so yes, I would. 

What is your advice for incoming minority engineering students?

Discover how you learn. Don't wait until the last minute to do homework. Quickly review lecture topics right after class every day. Find people in your discipline to work with as well as professional and social mentors. Organize your schedule and balance your life. Allow personal time for yourself that doesn't involve school. Ask for help when needed.

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