Photo: In the summer of 2015, Shannen Greer interned with GE Transportation.
When she began thinking about higher education, Shannen Greer knew she was interested in studying engineering, but she wasn’t sure what her focus would be. It was a major hurricane wreaking havoc on New York that solidified her decision. “When Superstorm Sandy hit us in November 2012, my house lost electricity,” Greer remembers. “In that moment, I realized that without electricity, nothing in the world would move or function properly.” She decided then to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
It wasn’t the only time her family home has helped her make a decision. “Part of the reason I chose NYIT is the location. When I was applying for college, I didn’t want to travel too far from home, and Old Westbury was just far enough,” she says. “I could live on campus but it was still close enough for me to go home for the holidays and special family events.”
Of course there were other reasons NYIT was the right fit for Greer. The small class sizes, the great reputation for the engineering program, and the student activities all ended up being important factors in her school experience. Greer is currently an Orientation Leader and she sits on the Region 1 Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She was especially inspired after attending the 40th annual National Convention for the NSBE. “I was able to connect to other chapter members who were on the same path of engineering as I was,” says Greer. “At that moment, connecting with other students, I realized that NYIT was the place for me because of the community I could build for myself.”
Greer is currently working on her Senior Design project, which is creating a device for the visually impaired that uses sensors to detect the distance of an object. “My role in the group is Team Leader and I ensure that all parts of the project are completed in a timely manner and provide my professor a weekly update on our project,” she says. “This project is a good wrap up of all of the classes I have taken thus far, and it allows for some ‘real world’, hands-on thinking about engineering.”
Where some people might be intimidated by the field, Greer has always welcomed the challenges it poses. “Studying electrical engineering gives me the chance to learn about functionalities and topics that I knew of but never really understood,” she says, citing her Signals and Systems class in which she learned the differences of AM and FM radio waves. “Simple lessons like that excite me because I know there are many more simple lessons for me to learn and fully understand.”