Three women are leading the way in Pen College’s engineering

Williamsport, PA-For the last two years, Lauryn A. Stauffer has only seen a male face in an electronics class at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. This fall, she will meet at least several female executives in the engineering faculty.

The school program is dedicated to a career with roots in science, technology, engineering and math and now has three women as deputy deans.

Kathleen D. Chesmel and Erin A. Lester were hired at the end of spring as heads of materials science and engineering and civil engineering. You will join Stacy C. Hampton, a longtime college student who is an assistant in the Industrial and Computing Technology Dean’s Office.

“It’s empowering women! I love it! “Stauffer beamed with pride. Bath Native is a half-bachelor’s degree in automation engineering. I love to see women in school studying robotics and automation and sharing an affinity for STEM.

“It’s difficult to move to a male-dominated area,” she said. “In my first year I felt lost because basically everyone in the class didn’t want anything to do with me. (Ken J.) Kinley and (Randall L.).) Moser, an assistant professor of electronics and computer technology, was great, but it’s been a year since I realized I wasn’t biting. “

“I didn’t have a female mentor. You (Assistant Dean) would be a great resource. I can ask for advice or just talk. To be honest, it’s a lot. It means that. “

Women make up almost half of the workforce, but only 27% of the MINT employees. This figure from the Department of Labor represents a snail-like advance. In 1990, 23% of MINT employees were women.

As a result, women miss out on enriching their careers. The Department of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual salary for STEM jobs was $ 86,980 and for all other occupations was $ 38,160 in 2019. In addition to attractive monetary rewards, STEM positions are influential.

“MINT’s career offers great opportunities to be at the forefront of technology change, advancement and the way we improve our lives. If you are interested in these aspects, STEM is for you. There are many opportunities in these careers, ”said Davy Jane Gilmour, president of the University of Pennsylvania.

“It is good for Pennsylvania College to have three women who are leaders in tech because they bring different backgrounds and interesting perspectives to future and existing students,” she says. Added. “In recognizing the uniqueness of the sexes in their roles, it is important to remember that we have primarily focused on the skills and abilities for their work. They depend on gender in engineering. The fact that it’s not traditional is a bonus. “

Chesmel has PhD and Masters degrees in biotechnology and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Your resume will encompass a wide range of educational and industry experience. More recently, Chesmel has taught STEM-accredited courses for secondary school teachers and directed the Make-It-Matter Materials Science Camp at Pennsylvania State University.

“I’ve always loved science and math,” said Chesmel. “My father was a chemical engineer, but I really didn’t know what he did every day.”

A trip to see a young teenage orthopedic surgeon needed due to a gymnastics injury helped Chesmel connect her interests with the STEM career.

“There are limbs on the shelves in the office and I thought, ‘Tell me about it. “That was the beginning of my desire to become a biomedical engineer and build orthopedic implants,” said Chesmel, co-inventor of two US patents in the field of biomedicine.

Lester has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, but her “natural curiosity” led to architecture and then building after her husband enrolled in a master’s degree in architecture.

“I went to the architecture library with him and it was very fascinating,” she said. “I fell in love with some of the writings on architecture.”

A few years later, Leicester earned a master’s degree in architecture, which led to leadership positions in professional companies and professional associations. She later switched to construction management and specialized in a construction environment that is defined as all man-made structures in the field of human activity.

Lester directs the Building Environment Program at Stevens Institute of Technology and holds a PhD in Building Environment from the University of Salford, England.

Hampton has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, she was a secondary school teacher, literacy teacher, 4-H extension, and college prep coordinator for various school districts in Pennsylvania.

Hired as the college engineering admissions and retention coordinator, Hampton attends classes and laboratories and speaks to faculty members to delve into plastics, electronics, machining, welding, and other STEM-related programs. Bottom.

When she was named assistant dean in 2013, Hampton was a tireless supporter and recruiter for the STEM major.

“When I started, I knew engineering in my head, but I didn’t know the complexity and creative career potential behind it. I went into technical areas like plastics. I wish I had known when I was young because it could be. ”“ I don’t think the demand for STEM staff has slowed since I started college. There seems to be more demand now. “

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be nearly 800,000 new STEM jobs by 2029, an increase of 8%.

“When we don’t influence our career decisions and don’t return to elementary or middle school to further our STEM careers, especially the right math and science to prepare our students for their STEM careers,” Gilmour said. Increase.

“Girls can do the math and science work that can lead to STEM careers like boys,” said Hampton. “I don’t think they understand what a career is.”

In describing these careers, Chesmel believes it is important to highlight the creative and human nature of the field in order to dispel the STEM stereotypes of hard and barren work isolated from society. I am.

“You create things that didn’t exist before, or you take the pieces that existed and put them together in new ways,” she said. “And if we can position the MINT career as empathetic and compassionate for women, we can arouse more interest. Women have an essential desire to give back to others. I think. So many STEM disciplines are essentially human. You are doing something for the good of society. “

Society will benefit from more women who excel in such professions.

“A lot of research has shown that the diversity of experiences and thoughts is very important,” said Lester. “It’s great when we bring people with different skills and perspectives together and work together for the common good.”

“Men’s thought processes are based on their experience, and their experience is different from my experience as a woman or a mother,” explains Chesmel. “The more diverse the voice, the more the decision-making culture reflects people’s needs.”

Bradley M, dean of the engineering department. Webb hopes the presence and work of Chesmel, Hampton and Lester will help universities play a role in increasing STEM diversity. In the 2020-21 academic year, around 91% of the students in the faculty represented by the three vice deans were male.

“There is a lot of research that shows that people like themselves need to be seen to imagine people entering their careers,” said Webb. “Before, there weren’t many female role models in the STEM area. Now there are three engineering assistants, Dean, participating in our program that has STEM potential for them. You can show a young woman as if she did. I also.’ “

The ambitious automation engineer wants to recite the mantra when he offers future students who are interested in the technical faculty, campus tours. In her role as the President’s student ambassador, she tours twice a week.

“Sure, we’re telling them we have three female engineering assistant directors,” she said. “I am very proud of Pen College!”

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Three women are leaders in engineering technology at Pen College

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