What brought you back to UF MAE to serve as a member of the External Advisory Board?
As I have advanced and matured in business, I find that doing work that is impactful is my goal. Joining the UF MAE has been a significant way for me to invest my time and energy.
What has been the hardest part of being a woman in a male-dominated field?
The hardest part of being a woman in a male-dominated field stems from the days when our numbers were very few. Coupled with this, I was young and just beginning my career. I am grateful for the few other women who guided and looked out for me. I must also note that there are many colleagues who are men and were also key in my development! Being open to feedback, hard work, delivering results and maintaining integrity will typically always be a key to success.
Can you share one of the most rewarding experiences you have had as a woman in engineering?
Today, I believe that being a woman in engineering has created open doors versus maybe some of the closed doors many of us faced in years past. Possibly, maybe and hopefully my journey has been a small part of opening the doors. My work now is to ensure opportunities are available for all who want to participate.
Do you have any advice for young engineers navigating a field that is always evolving?
My advice for young engineers who are just beginning their journeys is to remember that your values and integrity are primary and should always guide your actions. I have worked for my company for nearly 3 decades because we always focus on the “how” we operate; not just the “whats”. Think about this bigger picture – it will benefit you! Also take the opportunity to learn about yourself – know your strengths and your areas of opportunity, be open to feedback and seek out ways to hear it.
Please share your fondest memory as a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Florida.
I was a transfer student to UF ME after I completed a Studio Arts degree at the University of New York at Oneonta. This was the early 1980’s, so computerized drawing was not widely available and the department recognized my skills. I was offered the opportunity to become a technical illustrator for the department! This was such fun; not only did I earn much needed funds, I also built relationships with the department that benefited me in my UF career.