Shami Chideya


Greensboro, NC

Academic Interests

Major: Mechanical Engineering, Certificate: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Fun Fact

I am belay certified!

Regardless of circumstance, my goal is to always approach challenges or barriers with the mindset that diversity in background is an asset. This principle of appreciating perspectives has remained a theme throughout my explorations within STEM and outside of the classroom. One opportunity Duke allowed that showcased perspective within STEM was participating in a DukeEngage program in Kaihura, Uganda. In conjunction with DEID, our team partnered with Bringing Hope to the Family to aid in the construction of a bridge critical for isolated areas' access to medical aid and supplies. Traveling in Uganda, a place similar to my home country of Zimbabwe, reinforced the beauty and potential found within intercultural collaboration and my desire to take part in it more while on Duke's campus. Within STEM specifically, the intersection between mechanical and electrical components of engineering greatly intrigues me, and I look forward to learning how to merge the two throughout my undergraduate career and beyond.

While on campus, I am involved with DukeAFRICA and Duke Amandla Chorus to amplify and celebrate African culture on campus. One of my favorite involvements is my role as the Pre-Collegiate Initiative Co-Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), where I plan regular STEM outreach programs for middle and high school students in Durham. With NSBE, I also had the opportunity to attend the local and national engineering conferences to learn more about the STEM industry and potential career avenues. Besides clubs, listening to music and watching short films are ways I enjoy myself and decompress. I am an avid Cameron Crazie (I black tented freshman year), and love exploring food and culture with my friends throughout Durham during our "mini-excursions." 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

SPIRE provides a unique opportunity to be surrounded by mentors who are rooting for my success and motivated peers who inspire me daily. Even before I was in SPIRE, Dean Crowley and Dean Blackshear have been my biggest advocates on campus — they genuinely are driven by the desire to support their fellows in any and all ways possible. For that, I am incredibly grateful for them and this program.

Shami Chideya