This week the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University proudly presents Women in STEM Wednesday. This week we feature Third year student, Gracie Brownlow.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
DEGREE | WHAT YEAR?
I am a third year with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in manufacturing.
WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?
I volunteer in the Energy-X lab and I work in the ME-EM office.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?
I enjoy crocheting, reading, and going for walks and bike rides.
FAVORITE PLACE IN THE AREA?
The trails in Copper Harbor and Agate Beach.
FUN FACTS / PETS / FAVORITE QUOTE
I have seen over 40 different rock and alternative bands live.
I have a cat named Lizzy.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history”-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TECH?
It was Tech or UW-Platteville.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TECH?
I like how Tech isn’t too far from different trails and national parks since it gives students an easy way to go outside and be able to get away from a computer when necessary. It’s also really nice how Tech has a lot of opportunities to further your experience and what you learn.
HOW HAS TECH IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF STEM?
Tech has really helped me in expanding my knowledge on what you can do with a STEM degree. Especially with working in the Energy-X lab, I learned that there is far more to being a mechanical engineer than I originally thought.
WHAT ORIGINALLY INTERESTED YOU IN STEM?
Being in robotics in middle and high school was really the start of my interest in STEM. After only a year of designing and building robots, I found that there was nothing like watching something you created come to life and be successful. That’s when I knew I wanted to go into the STEM field but it wasn’t until my high school physics class made me finally decide on going into engineering, although the class led me to civil engineering, I quickly found my way to mechanical engineering at Tech.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
I would tell myself to be confident in my choices. It was unnecessarily difficult to decide to go to Tech and to go for engineering after being told by multiple people I’d be a good English teacher, and then deciding to change my major after getting to Tech. I was always worried I was making the wrong decision, even though I wasn’t excited to go anywhere else or do anything else. I’m glad to say that I’m really happy with the choices I’ve made since they have done a great deal to get me to where I am today.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO STUDENTS THAT ARE INTERESTED IN STUDYING STEM?
Be prepared to put the work in because it is something that you only get out what you put in. For the best experience and education, you have to give your all. I’d also recommend that you get to know professors, especially in classes you enjoyed being in. You never know if they have a research opportunity or if they can help you find your passion in your field.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
I don’t need to change the world by myself but I would like to help in research to help the issue of climate change. Whether that is helping make home appliances run more energy efficient or designing new planet friendly ways to get power, fresh water, or even dispose of waste, I hope that whatever I achieve is able to snowball effect into something bigger for the betterment of people’s livelihood and the planet’s well-being.
If you would like to nominate someone for Women in STEM Wednesday, email Donna Jeno-Amici (email@example.com) or Meg Raasakka (firstname.lastname@example.org)