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Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
As an undergraduate student, I became involved with a number of student groups within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. I started with the Electric Vehicle Research Group, and that led to the Engineering Student Council, which works with the dean. These were my first leadership experiences as a student and they got me engaged with the school. As a graduate student, I was the engineering representative to the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
The other group that had a significant impact on my student days was the Sun Devil Marching Band. I was in the band for three years as an undergraduate. Before my freshman year, I attended the summer band camp they held, and that was the first time I played the ASU fight song and sang the alma mater. I learned ASU’s traditions from that experience and it was my first “heartstring” connection to the university.
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
I came to work at Raytheon in Tucson nine years ago, after completing my doctoral degree at ASU. My strong background in materials science that I gained in graduate school helped me work my way up the ranks here, starting as a process engineer and holding positions along the way that have included value-stream manager, program manager, and corporate technology area director of mechanical, materials, and structures.
Today, I am a manager of internal research and development, overseeing research on advanced technologies we insert into the missiles that Raytheon manufactures.
How did ASU help you achieve your dream?
My leadership experiences in the student organizations really helped me become a good communicator and express technical ideas to a broad community of people who need to understand them.
The other part of my dream as a college student was to achieve personal happiness, and ASU helped with that, too. I met my husband in college, and he and my newborn son provide the largest amount of happiness in my life.
Tell us about your involvement with the ASU Alumni Association.
I became involved with the engineering alumni chapter in 2001, I was a student representative for the alumni chapter as an undergraduate because I was the president of the engineering student council. Since then, I’ve worked on scholarship efforts for the chapter, participated in Engineering Day events, and mentored current students. I’m currently the president of the engineering alumni chapter.
I joined the ASU Alumni Association’s board of directors about two years ago, as an extension of my work with the engineering alumni chapter. I’ve assisted with the Founders’ Day celebration, participated proudly in the annual Homecoming and Legends Luncheon events, and supported the Medallion Scholarship program.
What are three “can’t-miss” ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?
1. Participate in Lantern Walk – I enjoy this event because it shows how many people have a burning love of ASU in their hearts. It’s really amazing to see A Mountain all lit up! It’s really a community event.
2. Join a professional group as a student – I became involved with the Order of the Engineer, which has a fascinating history and encourages new engineers to pursue their profession in an ethical manner. It’s an important commitment, and can link you to peers in your profession all over the world.
3. Visit the ASU Mars rover exhibit – This display, on the ground floor of ISTB 4 on the Tempe campus, really demonstrates ASU’s involvement in space exploration. It really shows where ASU is an innovative leader in technologies for the future.