By Richard Ndoma, Leadership Newspaper
In an effort to encourage more women to go into the engineering field, the Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN), Calabar chapter, at the weekend, awarded scholarship, cash prizes, and gift items to winners of a STEM competition in Cross River State.
The lucky beneficiaries of the scholarship and cash prizes included Collette Daniel of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Calabar, for beating other contestants to emerge first; Maduka Mensah of the West African People’s Institute, who got a prize for taking second position, as well as Bassey Effioanwan of the FGGC Calabar, who came third.
Speaking on the theme ‘She Engineer and Digitalization’ at a one-day public lecture, Engr. Dr. Mary Ann O. Ezugwu, FNSE, charged beneficiaries of the scholarship award not to relent in hard work, stressing that with hard work, more can be achieved.
The association also presented a meritorious award of honor to Engr. U. B. Ekong, Engr. Ross Ekpenyong, Engr Joseph Ukpata, and Engr Desmond Ewa.
Also, presented an award of honor as a SEMTECH construction firm for always standing solidly behind the Women Engineers Association.
In her remarks, Calabar chapter Chairperson of APWEN, Engr. Mrs. Justina John Ulafor stated that the core value of the organization is to encourage the girl-child to build their career around the engineering profession, promising to do more sensitization in order to bridge the gap.
In her words, Engr. Ulafor said, “Our core value is to encourage our girls to become like us and some of the ways are the activities we undertake.
“We have done our STEM exams to see how we can encourage the girl-child students in the secondary school to do the exams.
“We want to bridge the gap through what we are doing – encouraging the girl-child to do science by taking up a career in engineering.
“For others who are already engineers, we encourage them to stay put through a mentorship program, capacity building in entrepreneurship, because an engineer is supposed to be an entrepreneur.”
Earlier, the incoming Chairman of APWEN, Engr. Faith Edu averred that the mission of the association is to “encourage the girl-child towards pursuing a career in engineering and breaking stereotypes.”
Edu stressed that engineering is a field career women can excel in, adding that there are a lot of women breaking limits in the profession even as she encouraged more girls to go into the profession.
The winner of the star prize for the STEM competition, Daniel Collette, a student of FGGC Calabar, said: “I feel excited because I did not expect it. When the third prize was called, I thought my name would not be among the winners.
“With God all things are possible. I encourage others to study hard and also when you give your best, God will assist you.”
The one-day event also featured presentation of meritorious award to APWEN President, Engr. Dr. Elizabeth Jumoke Eterigho, for innovative ideas and exhibiting excellent leadership qualities.