Thanks to her family’s longstanding tradition of attending the University, Carson City native, Victoria Defilippi has always been a member of the Wolf Pack family. After graduating from Western Nevada College with an Associate of Science, she chose to major in biomedical engineering with an interest in gene therapies and genetic material at the University and will be graduating this May.
“I chose to continue my family's tradition of going to UNR because I love being close to them. I can talk about my studies and professors, and they know who the professors are; some have even taken their class before,” Defilippi said. “A couple of the engineering professors at UNR started their careers when my dad attended UNR, and I am grateful that they get to lead me now, just as they did for him. I feel close to my family, and I know I am getting an excellent education here at UNR.”
Recognizing the importance of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Defilippi is serving as the University’s chapter president. As the campus closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she led a successful virtual campaign and was elected president in April.
As president, she has led workshops and a team of student engineers. Defilippi said her greatest accomplishment as president of the SWE is keeping everyone connected in a more virtually focused world.
“I have been persistent in conducting regular meetings and fun networking events because I know in a world that feels so divided and far away, it is important that we stay connected,” Defilippi said.
She said she saw lower attendance from club members and challenges in getting people involved with the club, but this did not stop her from trying to increase attendance for virtual meetings. As president, Defilippi led various professional development workshops, coordinating efforts for members and officers to attend a national conference virtually and working with industry coordinators.
“It has been a challenge not being able to meet our members and even leadership team members in person, but I feel like we have grown and navigated this together,” Defilippi said. “All of the members are still very enthusiastic and take part in our networking and workshop events.”
Defilippi said that the SWE has allowed her to grow as a leader and find new opportunities to challenge herself. Leading the chapter has shown her that dreams can be big and small, but it takes heart and creativity to make the world a better place.
“Victoria has been an amazing President of the UNR collegiate section of SWE during a year when everything has been made so much more difficult due to the pandemic,” Associate Dean of the College of Engineering Indira Chatterjee said. “She is a confident leader who has conducted all SWE meetings and activities virtually. She organized attendance of almost a dozen SWE student members at the Annual Society of Women Engineers 2020 national conference that was held virtually this year. Victoria will do well in the future whatever she chooses to do!”
“Through my work as an engineer, I hope to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis [MS] through genetic engineering. My dad has MS. He is my biggest inspiration to become an engineer, and I want to help others with MS.”
Her biggest plans for after graduating are to dive straight into the biomedical industry or earn a Master’s of Science from the University. Through her family’s tradition of attending the University, Defilippi hopes to research a cure for multiple sclerosis.
“Through my work as an engineer, I hope to find a cure for multiple sclerosis [MS] through genetic engineering,” Defilippi said. “My dad has MS. He is my biggest inspiration to become an engineer, and I want to help others with MS.”