BREAKING THE ENGINEERING GLASS CEILING
By Nancy Abramson | 10/10/2017
As a junior at an all-girls high school, Juliana Albarracin participated in a field trip to the University of Miami, sponsored by the University’s Society of Women Engineers. Girls from high schools all over Miami-Dade who were interested in mathematics attended. At that event, Albarracin won an engineering contest, and that’s when, in her words, “I knew I was going to end up here.”
Albarracin is, true to her own self-description, straightforward when it comes to her feelings about engineering. She says there is no reason why any engineering field should feel off limits to females, and she is drawn to getting more women involved in every aspect of engineering.
A passionate studier, Albarracin likes to keep her brain active both inside and outside the classroom. She’s a fan of puzzles and reading, “anything to keep my mind always engaged,” she says. She also is a member of the photography club and has become adept at lifestyle photography.
Born in Colombia and raised in Miami from the age of 9, Albarracin grew up around computers and televisions through her father’s career; despite that, she did not want to pursue hardware engineering. Instead, she is majoring in software engineering. In fact, Albarracin is on a bit of a mission, ignited by her passion for software engineering: She aims to one day own a company geared toward helping girls learn coding from a young age. “There’s no reason to stop girls from learning because they’ve declared, ‘I don’t like math,’” she says, adding that you’ve got to get young people interested in the topic – and she has every intention of doing so.