Newsmaker: Sossena Wood
Noteworthy: Recently elected chair of the National Society of Black Engineers, a national student-run organization representing 29,000 African American engineers and students worldwide.
Residence: Squirrel Hill
Background: Wood is researching the use of ultra high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging. She hopes to see machines with the technology — there are only about 25 worldwide today — eventually used in a clinical setting. Researchers believe they could be used to detect signs of neuro degenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's at a much earlier stage.
Education: Bachelor of Science, electrical engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2006; doctoral candidate in bioengineering, Pitt.
Quote: “I am extremely honored to have been selected by my peers to help lead this incredible organization. One of my goals as chair is to focus on women and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Too often when we hear about engineering, the focus is on areas that appeal to boys and men, like robotics. But what if we told girls as an engineer, ‘You can design the next high heel.' ”