Trending Topics

Recent Grad Shares Story as Only Black Woman in Cornell’s 2016 Class of Chemical Engineers

Cornell engineering graduate Iyore Olaye

Cornell engineering graduate Iyore Olaye

Iyore Olaye reached a major milestone. She recently graduated from Ivy League Cornell University with a unique achievement. She was the only Black female in the 2016 chemical engineer class.

The Hillside, New Jersey native finished school in May and shared her accomplishment on Facebook Tuesday.

“Three months ago I graduated from one of the best schools in the world, the greatest engineering program in the Ivy League, in one of the most rigorous majors at Cornell,” she wrote in her post. “There were moments of defeat and moments of victory through it all. I am thankful that I had continuous love and encouragement from friends and family who went out of their way to see me through to my success.”

According to her LinkedIn page, Olaye served as an undergraduate researcher, an engineering admissions diversity fellow, and president of the National Society of Black Engineers during her time at Cornell.

In addition to being the sole Black woman chemical engineer of the graduating class, Olaye is one of six other Black female engineers in the whole engineering school.

“This situation reminiscent of 4 years ago when I graduated as the first Black valedictorian of Winslow Township High School,” she said of her beginnings at the public school. “It is God that allows me to continue to break barriers and smash through glass ceilings, not just to stand alone but to ensure that others may rise with me.”

Olaye is now working as a product engineer at Walker & Company Brands in San Francisco. The company specializes in health and beauty products for people of color.

The recent graduate calls the organization “a company that feeds my soul and challenges me to be [a] better engineer and person each day.”

As for future goals, Olaye told WPIV-TV in a 2012 interview she planned to be a business woman, politician and engineer by age 30.

Read Olaye’s entire Facebook post below.

What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Back to top