Outstanding Graduate + Impact Award, Fall 2022
In her senior year of high school, Amira Fisher decided that if she won an award in the Spark App League, she would pursue a technology-related major in college.
“To my surprise, my partner and I ended up winning best overall game,” Fisher says. “At that point, my decision was made on what I wanted to study in university.”
Arizona State University was her top choice because it supported first-generation college students like her and offers hands-on computing programs in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
The informatics program helped Fisher discover the breadth of possible technology careers she could pursue, and led her to find her place in the field of data science.
With the knowledge she has gained earning an informatics degree, Fisher says she can turn all kinds of data into “knowledge that can directly impact the lives of others.”
Fisher has impacted the lives of her peers in other ways, too. She served as an undergraduate teaching assistant and welcomed new students to the Fulton Schools as a counselor at E2.
Since her first year at ASU, Fisher was also an active member of the student-led volunteer organization Fulton Ambassadors, which helps prospective students learn about the Fulton Schools, and served for a time as its president.
“What really motivated me to stay in this organization was having the opportunity to encourage other women and people of color to pursue an engineering or computing degree,” Fisher says. “I believe that when people see somebody who looks like them succeeding in a rigorous engineering major, it does a ton to instill confidence within themselves to aid in envisioning their own success.”
One thing Fisher says she will take away from her time in the Fulton Schools is a newfound confidence in her own abilities.
She put this to the test over the summer while working on her first real-world project as an intern at Bank of America.
“I learned so much about what it takes to turn an idea into a final product. How it requires collaboration from a variety of teams and knowledge from different subject area experts. This experience exposed me to new fields in technology I had no prior knowledge of,” says Fisher, who will now set off across the country for a full-time job as a data scientist at Bank of America.
More than being a fun way to collaborate with passionate people to complete impactful projects, for Fisher, engineering represents a personal opportunity for a better future.
“Engineering has allowed me to create the best life I could for myself, as I faced many financial hardships throughout my childhood that carried into my college career,” she says. “I will not have these same struggles in the future because of the work I put into my degree, and I have engineering to thank for that.”