(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.
This high school student exhibit features images, videos, interviews and writings that the students learned about while participating in "The Will to Adorn: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity."
Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA has a greater focus in 2018 to serve the local community. Learn the many opportunities you can get involved.
Student Union, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
Dr. Ricky Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Pan-African studies at the University of Louisville. He will share his expertise on the impact of African American history on today’s society.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Come meet STEM recruiters in person from companies across the nation that have full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The summit is an opportunity to create an open forum for the community to share ideas and perspectives on civic engagement.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Meet recruiters in person from companies across the nation that have full-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress required.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
New exhibit of Latino and Latina artists is curated by Arturo Infante Almeida, art specialist and curator for the UTSA Art Collection. Opening Reception is Feb. 8; exhibit runs through June 10.
Centro de Artes Gallery, 102 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio
The UTSA commnity is encouraged to get involved in this city-wide initiative to clean up the San Antonio area waterways. Roadsrunners will be cleaning up Maverick Creek on the west side of Main Campus.
Maverick Creek, 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.
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.