Black History Month 2024: A Q&A with Naomi Dover – Faculty of Engineering

Black History Month 2024: A Q&A with Naomi Dover

Naomi Dover

Meet Naomi Dover, second-year Biotechnology student and AVP, Social and Mentorship, for the BTech Association (BTA). Read on to learn about Naomi’s background, how she applies advice from her mentor and her thoughts on the importance of Black representation.

What is your background?

My Name is Naomi Dover, and I’m in my second year of the BTech, Biotechnology stream. I was born in Canada, but all my family is from Guyana. I’m very passionate about the sciences, but specifically biology. I’m fixated by the ocean for some reason to the point that I got my favourite ocean creature, a squid, tattooed on my arm! I’m also a big fan of the arts and anything creative, so I spend a lot of my free time watching shows, reading books and occasionally I paint and draw. I also happen to be a huge anime and manga nerd. Aside from personal hobbies and academics, I’m also a member of the BTech Association (BTA) My current role is AVP Social and Mentorship. I’m in charge of planning all our social events so that keeps me very busy during the school year.

How has the BTA impacted your time so far at Mac?

Joining the BTA was one of the best decisions I made as a university student. I initially signed up because I wanted to be more involved in my program and school. But I also wanted to challenge myself socially and push myself to come out of my shell. After I got in, I got to connect with upper year BTech students, and also got to join a community of strong minded, goal-oriented people who all support and help each other out! It’s been so much fun getting to volunteer, do outreach and hang out with all the amazing BTech students!

Why is it important to celebrate Black History Month?

It’s imperative that we acknowledge and understand the mistakes made in the past as a way to move forward towards a brighter future for everyone. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the rich, intricate and wonderous history of the traditions and culture of Black people all around the world. Black History Month allows everyone to experience and immerse themselves in all aspects of the complexity, pain and beauty that encompasses our history.

Why is Black representation in STEM so important?

It’s super important to see people that look like you working in all industries, but especially in STEM which has historically had a lack of Black representation. In my own graduating class (class of 2026) I’m pretty sure I’m one of three Black girls out of 100+ students. That’s really not a lot, but just us being there shows other Black girls interested in STEM that it is possible, and that they won’t be alone. We all have the right to comfort, belonging and community, and that begins with creating diverse workplaces where everyone can be represented.