Ethnic Gem in the Making: Joy Ekuta
School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Major: Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Minor in Chemistry
By: Natascha Saunders, Contributing Writer
Joy was born in Abuja, Nigeria and soon immigrated to the United States, where she became a child of many cultures. Over the years, she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and now resides in Cambridge, MA. The opportunity to live in many places opened her eyes to the beauty of the diversity in the world around her. With the name “Joy” to live up to, she used each move to connect with the people around her, and found ways to use her experiences to bring people together.
Growing up, Joy was surrounded by medicine and was expected to follow the same path. However, upon entering Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she planned to study chemical engineering, as it seemed to perfectly compliment her interests in chemistry and math. However, upon taking her first brain and cognitive sciences class, she realized that she had located a field which focused her love for people while integrating technology. MIT’s department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences stands at the crossroads of neuroscience, biology and psychology, and its purpose is to combine these disciplines to study aspects of the brain and mind, including vision, movement, and memory.
In addition to Joy’s tenacity when it comes to her education, she has many organizational affiliations, has traveled abroad extensively to implement educational initiatives, and constantly maintains various volunteer roles. Joy is VP of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), a leader of the MIT Gospel Choir, and representative for theUndergraduate Committee on Race and Diversity. Joy also holds positions in the MIT Career Development Center andAdmissions Office. Furthermore, Joy has worked as an MCAS and Chemistry Tutor for MATCH Public Charter School, and served as a co-founder to implement a program to empower the youth of Mexico and Brazil to create innovative solutions to renewable energy.
Joy is a recipient of many accolades, including the NOBCChE Excellent Award, and the Baker Fellowship. When Joy has free time she enjoys Latin dancing, baking and singing. Joy believes in her work of involving international development, healthcare, education and youth.
Please join us in congratulating Joy Ekuta as an Ethnic Online Gem in the Making!