Electrical engineering major Erica Stewart finds a home on campus as a student-athlete

Written byAshley McClure-French

鈥淛ust looking back on my childhood and things that I was really interested in and passionate about, that led me to electrical engineering. So, I decided to go ahead and pursue a degree in it, and I am still passionate about it to this day.鈥

UL 69传媒 student athlete Erica Stewart is an electrical engineering major.
Erica Stewart
Electrical Engineering
Houston, Texas

Where I'm From

I鈥檓 from Houston, Texas, where I always loved disassembling and reassembling electronics as a child.

Where I Am

I鈥檓 a student in electrical engineering, a sprint runner, and an active member of three engineering student organizations.  

Where I'm Going

I am going to work for Chevron in Houston for a few years before looking into my options for grad school.

Erica Stewart is a very involved student-athlete. Alongside her demanding curriculum as an electrical engineering major, she has served in three engineering student organizations and kept on top of her responsibilities as a Ragin鈥 Cajun. 

鈥淚 really enjoyed being on the track and field team. It helped me be disciplined and really keep my head on straight while I was in the engineering program,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 don't think people realize how disciplined you have to be as an athlete because you don't get much time to really just relax. 

鈥淚t really helps you plan out what you have to do to be more disciplined in your schedule,鈥 she said.

Finding a Home at UL 69传媒

When Erica was a senior in high school, she was recruited for her skills in track and field. In the midst of recruitment, she tore her ACL and some of her offers were retracted. She says that her injury was 鈥渁 blessing in disguise because UL 69传媒 was the place that I was actually supposed to be."

鈥淥ne thing I will always be grateful for is UL 69传媒 taking that chance on me and having faith in what I previously have done,鈥 she said. 鈥淎nd knowing that I could produce after my injury.鈥

Erica Stewart is a student-athlete on the University of Louisiana at 69传媒 track and field team.

The Louisiana Ragin鈥 Cajuns sprint coach reached out and invited Erica to see the campus. 

鈥淚 did a bunch of visits my senior year of high school and once I got here, I didn't have any doubts about it,鈥 she said. 鈥淎fter visiting the campus, it felt like home for me.鈥

Erica鈥檚 Focus in Class & Student Organizations

One of the features available to student-athletes like Erica is the on campus. 

鈥淚t really helps having that place where I can just focus while having peace and quiet and just basically lock myself down to get whatever information I need to get while I'm at the library,鈥 she said. 

Erica used these amenities to keep herself focused for classes like EECE 340: Microprocessors, where she built her Secret Door Knock project using an Arduino microcontroller.

鈥淪o, if you knock a certain pattern on the door, the door will sense it and unlock for you,鈥 she explained. 鈥淚t's kind of like having a passcode on the door but on this door, we use a knock. I would say that was my favorite project that I did all four years.鈥

Apart from her academic and athletic responsibilities, Erica was a member of the , the , and she was an Engineering Ambassador. Her goal with these organizations was to recruit a diverse engineering student body.

鈥淭he National Society of Black Engineers focuses on graduating more African Americans in engineering. And I don't know if you've ever been to an engineering graduation, but the women are very scarce,鈥 she said. 鈥淪o, I try to get more women on board.鈥

Past, Present & Future With Engineering

When she was in high school, Erica originally thought she wanted to be a surgeon because of her favorite show, 鈥淕rey鈥檚 Anatomy.鈥 Her high school offered curriculum tracks based on career paths, which is how she discovered that it wasn鈥檛 actually what she wanted to do.

鈥淭hank God for that high school program,鈥 she said. 鈥淪o, once I figured out that's what I didn't want to do, I really started to search within myself for what I was really interested in.鈥

Electrical engineering student Erica Stewart stands with an engineering fixture on the university of Louisiana at 69传媒 campus.

Erica鈥檚 childhood hobbies helped her decide to major in electrical engineering.

鈥淟ooking back on being a kid, I always was interested in electronics and I would take apart gaming devices and phones. I was trying to take things apart and reassemble them,鈥 she said. 鈥淛ust looking back on my childhood and things that I was really interested in and passionate about, that led me to electrical engineering

鈥淪o, I decided to go ahead and pursue a degree in it, and I am still passionate about it to this day.鈥

Erica is now on track to be an electrical engineer for Chevron back home in Houston. She has planted roots at UL 69传媒, though, so, she is considering options for grad school here once she has worked for a few years. 

鈥淚 wanted to stay in Louisiana, specifically the 69传媒 area because I really love it,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 didn't want to go too far, so I can come back on weekends whenever I want.鈥

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