Capitol student wins Grace Hopper research award
Capitol Technology University may be a small, close-knit school, but its engineering students are making big waves.
Although nervous, Dixon fielded the questions with professionalism and poise. Then, when the competition winners were announced, she was elated to hear her name called.
She says electronics courses at Capitol helped her build the fundamentals needed for her research. She also credits participation in TRAPSat, a student-led project at Capitol. “Through TRAPSat, I got hands-on experience with Arduino and microcontroller programming,” Dixon said. “I learned how to integrate hardware and software.”
“Since TRAPSat is interdisciplinary, I learned how to work with people from different majors,” she said. “And because we have ongoing collaborations with NASA, I’ve gained experience with working in a professional environment.”
While continuing her studies and participation in TRAPSat, Dixon now plans to expand her research project by designing a UV alert system for the Capitol Technology University campus.
Engineering professor Dr. Garima Bajwa, who mentored Dixon as she planned and implemented her project, says Dixon’s project was especially notable because of the commitment she demonstrated, and also because of its applicability to the wider world.
“She started it from scratch and saw it through with great dedication,” Bajwa said. “The project is also important because it involves outreach, in that she is seeking to bring awareness to the community about a critical issue. It’s important for young engineers to recognize that what we do has significance for society as a whole, and Zalika understands this very well.”
The Grace Hopper Celebration, produced by AnitaB.org and held in partnership with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. It was held from October 4-6 in Orlando, Florida.
For a video clip of Zalika Dixon receiving her award, click here.