Close this search box.

Breaking Barriers: OSU’s Kat Zepeda-Romero paves the way for Women in STEM

In the field of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), Katherine Zepeda-Romero, a 5th-year mechanical engineering student, is not just breaking through glass ceilings; she’s shattering them. Her journey at Ohio State University (OSU) has been nothing short of inspiring; marked by dedication, leadership, and a commitment to making STEM accessible for all.

Katherine, known as Kat by her teammates, is currently serving as the Equity in Mobility Lead (EML) for EcoCAR, demonstrating her skills in mechanical engineering while also underscoring the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Simultaneously, she is also the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and works with the Community Access Retention Empowerment (CARE) office for the College of Engineering at Ohio State. This well-rounded involvement showcases her passion for both technical excellence and community engagement.

During her academic journey, Kat completed two drastically different internships with GE Airspace. Kat also completed an internship at Collins Aerospace that involved working on the detailed manufacturing process of stage 3 nozzles for aircrafts.

Kat’s commitment extends beyond her technical expertise; she is dedicated to creating a path for women in STEM, ensuring the next generation faces fewer obstacles. What’s unique about Kat’s experience is that she is a first-generation college student. With this experience and her involvement in SHPE, Kat felt the need to support others who, like her, might have initially felt out of place.

Kat recognized there was a need at OSU for more information for first generation minority college students. After recognizing this need, Kat decided to take charge.

Kat’s role in the CARE office focuses on creating a supportive environment for first-year minority students. By collaborating with minority organizations like SHPE, SASE, SWE, and NSBE, Kat develops connections and provides academic assistance. The office’s initiatives include outreach through flyers during Hispanic Heritage Month, highlighting influential engineers and encouraging awareness about the diverse faces in the field. This approach ensures that students, regardless of their background, feel supported and connected as they embark on their academic journey.

In a field where women are currently underrepresented, Katherine Zepeda-Romero stands out as a source of inspiration. Her journey is the epitome of excellence in STEM but also reflects a commitment to DEI. As Kat continues to pave the way for future generations, her story is a testament to the impressive power of perseverance and passion in the world of STEM.