‘An Amazing Place’: Fulbright Scholar Finds a Welcoming Space at Illinois Tech


Illinois Tech student Narmeen Aamir works in a lab


Narmeen Aamir (M.A.S. CPE 2nd Year): I’ve done several projects as a part of my degree program here in the master’s of computer engineering in Internet of Things. I worked on a project called “My Pet Plant.” Oh, it was an amazing project.

We had a lot of sensors, for example the soil moisture sensor, the humidity sensor—they collect the data from the plant and the system is so automated that if the plant is thirsty, it waters the plant itself; it tells you the plant is sick—it’s like remote monitoring.

There were sometimes that I had to spend like hours and hours in the library, researching or working on some project.

They offer you prayer rugs and you just ask them where you can pray, and they can tell you where you can pray. I’ve never had to miss Salah because I was in the library.

I started a campaign on campus called the “Hijabis on Campus.” The campaign, it’s just to spread awareness about hijab and to normalize hijab in places.

I have not been a part of a single moment that I have been ridiculed or harassed or embarrassed or discouraged for wearing what I want to wear.

My baby was one year old and I used to take a course, Computer Networks with Professor Lin Cai, and I was always 20 minutes late to the class.

And one day she said, “Is everything okay with you?” And I said, “Professor, there is a child.” She said, “Oh don't worry. You will learn eventually because you’re working hard, but give him priority.” She was really right.

Illinois Tech is an amazing place. First of all, the research was really good here.

The professors are very supporting in terms of humanitarian issues. They have empathy, they encourage students to have good relations, maintain relations with their kids, spouses, everyone, and then continue with their research.

They have vision I must say, in a broader term. They have vision.