(March 19, 2014) -- Meet Barbara Kennedy. This Harley-riding, adventurous engineering junior is the president of the UTSA Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
Her philosophy on women in engineering: "When you ask girls what they want to be when they grow up, lots of them say supermodel or actress, and that's OK. Girly-ness is OK, even in engineering. But, it's also important for girls to play in the dirt. Part of the problem is that girls don't grow up knowing what engineering is. It's problem solving… and girls are good at that."
Two things Kennedy has always known about herself is that she loves problem solving and she is a natural-born leader.
At age 22, she was managing a horse ranch in Northern California that specialized in long-distance horse racing and luxury vacation rides. In 2010, she took a job in Ireland managing a company that led world visitors on daily pony trekking rides.
After her yearlong gig in Ireland, Kennedy was ready to go back to school. She had tried business at UTSA in 2005, and it didn't click. However, she loved math, so she re-applied to UTSA in 2011 as an engineering major. This time it clicked.
"Honestly, SWE has been a game-changer for me," she said. "In engineering, you need to surround yourself with other engineers for support. The young women of SWE have given me that support."
Kennedy's level of dedication to SWE has produced tangible results. After volunteering close to 40 hours per week for several months at the beginning of her term in August, the organization now has at least 60 active members, many of whom are dynamic freshmen and sophomores eager to keep up the momentum.
Just in the last month, the young women of SWE helped organize a Women in Engineering Luncheon, partnered with Girls Inc. to host an afternoon of exciting problem-solving challenges for young girls in San Antonio, and participated in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day in conjunction with UT Austin.
Through SWE, Kennedy has discovered a true passion for inspiring other young women to explore the exciting and innovative life they could lead with a degree in engineering, where the only limit is one's imagination.
Interested in joining or supporting SWE? Email email@example.com.
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.