Graduated Scholar: Nubia MadridMonday, December 13, 2010
By Tiyana Hardney
2006 Daniels Scholar
As a former cheerleader and dancer at the University of Miami, and the 2000 valedictorian of West High School in Denver, Colorado, Nubia Madrid continues to add to the accomplishments in her life.
What could have taken her in one direction changed while she was in high school. At a young age Nubia had aspirations to one day be a pediatrician. This then switched to wanting to learn more about engineering.“I was taking Physics AP and my teacher Mr. Pomponio asked me if I had ever considered going into engineering. I never heard anything about this "engineering" nor had I ever met one,” said Nubia.
Nubia took the next step and did her research on engineers.“I started reading and I realized that engineers were always referred to as "scientists" and were involved in our day to day life; whether it was designing and making the cars we drive, to the roads and bridges we drive these cars on, and the power plants that generate the electricity that light up the streets at night,” said Nubia.
High school for Nubia changed her mind and started her on her way to becoming an engineer. However, her journey was not smooth and effortless. Nubia’s family took in her older brother’s girlfriend who became pregnant while in high school. Nubia then took on new responsibilities. “Every morning of my junior and senior year I would drop off my younger brother and Lisa (my brother’s girlfriend) at school, then I would proceed to drop off my nephew at day care before making my way to class. I made it to my first period class almost every morning late, but I was fortunate enough to have teachers that were understanding and helped work with me,” said Nubia.
High school presented this responsibility and the decision to choose which college to attend was quickly approaching. Nubia applied and was accepted to the University of Miami in Florida.
With the help of the Daniels Fund, Nubia was able to attend college. Nubia was awarded the scholarship and became a part of the first group of scholars. “I was initially not selected as a Daniels Fund Scholar. The original group of scholars was 30. It was thanks to many people's efforts and determination that convinced the scholarship board to add me and bring the total to 31,” said Nubia.
Finally being selected as a scholar Nubia knew she could now focus on college. “When I found out that I was finally chosen, it brought tears to my eyes, it made me feel as though all my hard work and commitment to my studies and community had not gone unnoticed,” said Nubia.
This opportunity sent her on her way. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a concentration in aerospace.
As this could have completed her goals, Nubia went on to attend grad school earning her masters in Industrial Engineering and a computer aided manufacturing concentration in 2006 and is the first Daniels Scholar to receive her Masters degree.
Her love for engineering and the assistance from the Daniels Fund and her families support has helped her become who she is today.
Nubia has made Miami, Florida her home and works for Locust USA. “Locust USA is a research and development company that focuses on micro turbine engines for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and power generation,” said Nubia.
She will tell you, “I've had the pleasure to work on engines for different military applications such as DARPA's EXOskeleton and Big Dog, and the Army's MAV and Class I UAV programs,” said Nubia.
Nubia’s passion for engineering was brought to a new level because of the Daniels fund. She continues to have a spirit that keeps her involved. She plays the trumpet in non-profit Bag Pipe band called St. Andrew's Pipe Band of Miami and is thankful for all her opportunities.