I'm an undergraduate student in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, expecting to graduate in May 2015. Currently, I'm completing the second semester of my sophomore year at Swansea University in Wales. When I return to the US, I'll be moving to Texas for a couple months to work as an intern for LyondellBasell at their largest refinery in Houston. Previously, I researched at the University of Alabama through the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates work program. I optimized c. tyrobutyricum's production of butanol by approximately 400% and presented the results at the national AIChE conference in October 2012 where I won the Harry West award for best petrochemical and fuel poster. Around this same time, I recognized my calling to the field of engineering education. I want to change how it's taught within universities and colleges internationally. Currently, students who are passionate about engineering drop out because physics, math, and chemistry of the first few years of study deter them while successful students discover they don't like engineering once they reach hands-on project courses in their last few years of study. To help change this, I have become involved within the Big Beacon movement and Junior Enterprise movement. I am the president of the first Junior Enterprise in the United States which is located at the University of Illinois. I'm also a Engineering Learning Assistant to help teach a class for freshmen engineers while providing them with project-based learning. I maintain a website where I post thoughts to help people critically consider the current state of engineering education. I would love to connect with more people within STEM education and hear their thoughts on education of all types. Thank you!
Areas of Expertise
engineering education, Chemical Engineering, Undergraduate education, Study Abroad, Traveling Abroad, Undergraduate research
An idea worth spreading
Engineering students need to be actively involved in their own education. The students are the majority of every classroom, but they have the least amount of say in their own education which college students pay so much for. Instead of holding town halls or conducting research studies, college students must be invited to the table for discussion and free flow of ideas concerning their education. Engineering education should be the skills college students need in order to be successful in the real world, while being taught in a manner that is interesting and engaging for the students. Currently, the model for engineering education is far from perfect, but the way to improve it starts with engineering's students.
I'm passionate about
engineering education within higher institutions and its continuous improvement, with a specialty in women in engineering.
Talk to me about
engineering education, traveling, chemical engineering, studying abroad, need for women in STEM fields, Catholicism, leadership, and lack of STEM graduates.
People don't know I'm good at
praying, flute, coloring, history, loving.
My TED story
While completing the last of my general education requirements, I took a linguistics course entitles "Language Diversity in the USA". It was interesting, but, to be honest, I could not understand why people spend their whole lives studying how vowel pronunciation is moving from the front to the back of our mouths. Regardless, the class offered extra credit if you watched and reviewed a TED Talk on language. After watching the assigned video, I found a couple of different TED Talks on chemistry and physics... before I knew it, my whole afternoon was gone and it was dinner time. Since then, TED Talks have been a great way for me to listen to new ideas which in turn inspire my own ideas. I love it and I'm so happy I took linguistics solely because I enjoy TED Talks so much now.