Sabah Haji, a mechanical engineering student at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, was recently named as a recipient of a $5,000 Zonta International Women in STEM Scholarship, the Zonta Club of Utica announced. The STEM scholarship encourages women to pursue education, career opportunities, and leadership roles in STEM fields. She is one of only eight women in the U.S. and 30 internationally to receive this year’s scholarship.

While studying at SUNY Poly, Haji concurrently works at Wolfspeed as a Metrology Process Technician. In this role, she excels in the calibration, standardization and maintenance of precision measurement instruments vital to the semiconductor production process.

As a refugee from Nairobi, Kenya, Sabah’s journey has been rooted in resilience and a passion for empowering women in STEM.  She actively engages in initiatives supporting women in STEM, participating in the Real Life Rosie’s program and speaking to groups of high school students.  Her advocacy for diversity at the 2023 Women in Semiconductors conference was evident where she engaged in panel discussions championing inclusivity in the field.

In her application, Zonta says Haji stated that “through my experiences as a Black, Muslim woman, I am determined to break barriers and promote diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. I aspire to become a leading figure in the field of mechanical engineering, working on innovative advancements that address societal challenges.  Furthermore, I am committed to empowering underrepresented individuals in STEM and promoting equitable opportunities for all.”

Having already won at the local level through the award given by the Zonta Club of Utica, Sabah’s application was judged against others from the clubs in Zonta District 2, which stretches among clubs in Central New York, Hudson Valley, and into Canada.