(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 UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, 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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