March is a national celebration of women and women’s history. This year’s theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).” To honor this celebration, Inside USD is doing a few articles to spotlight some of the inspiring female students on campus who, in turn, can and do inspire others.
Yasamin Shoriz, a sociology major and philosophy minor, is a senior at the University of San Diego. While her major may have you believe otherwise, Shoriz is one of USD’s finest examples of women not only navigating, but also excelling in the field of technology.
An average day for Shoriz is comprised of multiple hours in the university’s Information Technology Department. When she’s not testing new cameras and video recorders for USD students, she’s fixing the latest problem with Blackboard or researching equipment for the USD Media Center. The moments in between are spent in class, teaching a freshman leadership course at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, chatting with friends and, of course, her favorite hobby turned part-time job: station manager for USDtv.
During Shoriz’s first three years in the IT department, she was the only female employee. When asked whether she’s experienced any sexism in the field of technology, Shoriz immediately nods.
“[It’s] something I deal with every day,” she said. “People are very surprised when they meet me and hear that I’m the manager for USDtv. I used to be the only female at work, so yes, I do feel like people discredit my knowledge because I’m female, whether it’s from faculty, staff or vendors.”
While Shoriz has experienced moments of frustration, she’s also quick to acknowledge the endless support she has received from her male bosses.
“I’m not afraid to ask for help and I think that’s a great quality because sometimes I feel like men are afraid to ask for help … whether it’s help at work or USDtv related. I have the best bosses, all male, who don’t judge me for asking questions … they explain everything to me and teach me.”
In the past three and a half years, Shoriz has continually looked toward the future in her decisions as a USDtv leader. She made the executive decision to use Vimeo — an online website where users upload original video content — as the sole platform for USDtv. She carefully monitors viewer statistics and strategically plans the time each program airs to maximize the amount of students tuning in. Next month, on April 10, USDtv will host its fourth annual Short Film Fest, a chance for budding student film makers to showcase their 20-minute or less projects.
Similarly, Shoriz looks towards the future of women.
When asked about what she would like to see among the next generation of female leaders, she states: “There needs to be a change in attitude about what women can and can’t do. Stereotypes about what fields they are told they can and can’t be in need to stop. Women need the power to do whatever they want to do without anyone telling them they can’t.”
As Shoriz prepares to graduate this May, she looks forward to the endless possibilities that her personal future holds. While Shoriz works during the year after graduation, she said she plans to examine the best path for reaching her goal of becoming a legal mediator.
— Taylor Milam ‘14
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