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‘The award is an expression of my gratitude to those who played a role in my education’

How a Concordia award encourages women to dive into engineering
October 15, 2019
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By Mercy Quarshie, BEng 11

Mercy Quarshie, BEng 11 Mercy Quarshie, BEng 11 is aftermarket service manager at Dehumidified Air Solutions.

“I don’t have any heart-tugging stories about growing up and having to walk for miles without shoes to get to school, or dreaming about having enough money just to buy a tin of corned beef.

That was my father’s story, but, years later, he and my mother traveled the world, raised their four young girls (me included) and put us all through university. My parents believe firmly in a good education. My father was a university professor, so he started us out at an early age practicing mathematical problems at the dinner table.

As an international student at Concordia, I was incredibly blessed and privileged to have all my fees paid for by my parents, while my older sisters took care of my living expenses. While I was under no obligation to pay them back, my father always reiterated the importance of helping others in return.

At Concordia I was able to challenge myself and my ambitions through the Building Engineering program. I am as interested in fashion, jewelry and dance as I am in construction, big trucks and machinery. That has never changed through my years at Concordia, or now at work, and it has been great to be able to nurture and show my creative side even in the engineering discipline.

I decided to set up the Ahema award for a female student in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science at Concordia, to support other girls in pursuing their goals. Female graduates in these industries are the women who will be the example and encouragement for the next generation of women interested in entering the STEM fields. The award, $1,000 per year for three years, offered to a female student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Computer Science, is also an expression of my gratitude to those who played a role in my education.

Going through the BEng program at Concordia prepared me for my first job in the HVAC industry with the selection of coursework and projects I focused on. After several years in the industry, I wanted to help others and I immediately thought, what better place to start than with the university that opened the door for me to become part of the industry I wanted to be in.”

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