Patel also participated in an exclusive event offered only to Women in STEM LLC residents and had breakfast with Mae Jemison, who was the first African American woman to travel in space and who also made an appearance in Star Trek. One of Patel’s favorite memories was visiting Chicago for a weekend with her Women in STEM peers. She was able to get an inside look of the big pharmaceutical companies, an opportunity not many students have readily available during their undergraduate years.
As of right now, Patel’s future plans after graduating from Indiana University with a neuroscience degree is to attend medical school to become a neurosurgeon. "To an extent, I get rather annoyed. Why are women just expected to be nurses? Why can't we also be doctors?" Patel hopes to attend John Hopkins School of Medicine, her dream school, which would guide her toward her aspiring goals of becoming a physician and continuing to break those stereotypical clichés.
Patel urges other IU women that have an interest or major in science, technology, engineering, or math to look into joining and living with the Women in STEM, which is located in the Agnes E. Wells Quadrangle. The program not only provides women with housing, but opens up a window of possibilities with access to paid summer research experiences, tours of the campus labs, visits to STEM companies, workshops to assist cultivating career paths, and options for community volunteer work. Indiana University students wanting to join the Women in STEM LLC should include or update their housing application with that preference, and enroll in a one-credit seminar course introducing STEM careers and improve skills affiliated with them.
"It's a bunch of girls that have the same passion and endeavors in life as you," said Patel. "Also, the Women in STEM LLC gives us opportunities to help us in those endeavors."