(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at email@example.com, so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
UTSA Arbor Day event where volunteers will plant trees and give away 100 sapling trees to neighbors in the surrounding communities.
Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, Main Campus
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.
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