Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Honors UConn Engineering Department Head and Alumni
By: Alexandra Meropoulos, Student Written Communications Specialist, UConn School of Engineering
The UConn School of Engineering is proud to announce that the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame will be honoring three women with strong ties to the School during their 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will take place on November 4.
In addition to four other inductees, the Hall of Fame is honoring other women across the state who have had a strong impact on environmental sustainability, which will include Maria Chrysochoou, UConn department head of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Connecticut Brownfields Initiative; Jeanine Armstrong Gouin, Vice President and Managing Director of Milone and MacBroom Inc.; and Kristin Morico,Vice President and Client Account Executive for Jacobs® Global Environmental Solutions business.
“The honorees will be exemplary women who are working in environment and sustainability. Like our inductees, they reflect both corporate, non-profit and entrepreneurial contribution and impact,” said Sarah Lubarsky, Executive Director for the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
Lubarsky expressed that while inductees are usually older and farther along in their careers, honorees are the “movers and shakers” in their current field.
Honorees must be currently working/operating in Connecticut, at the top of their field, exhibit strong leadership qualities, show innovation and creativity in their approach, are exemplary role models for young women and men, and actively mentor and promote women. Selected by an advisory committee, the ten honorees were chosen amongst 80-90 names that had been considered for the theme of environment and sustainability this year.
Chrysochoou is a civil and environmental engineering professor and department head at the University of Connecticut, specializing in industrial pollution and mediation. In addition to her research on contamination in soil and groundwater, she specializes in brownfield redevelopment and began the Connecticut Brownfields Initiative in 2017.
“I had always been a science person, and wanted to do something where I found more meaning in terms of direct impact on social good. This is a clear area where science and social consciousness meet,” Chrysochoou said.
Armstrong Gouin ‘87 (civil engineering), Vice President and Managing Director of Milone and MacBroom Inc., has been initiating environmental restoration and community-based environmental protection programs in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast for her entire 32 year career.
Armstrong Gouin says that her motivation for focusing on environmental sustainability stemmed from her childhood.
“My parents raised my sisters and I with a strong ethic to do the right thing, even when it’s not easy. Protecting and restoring our environment will be hard and require us to make difficult choices and take research, money, effort, and sacrifice. The alternative, however, is frightening beyond imagination.” says Armstrong Gouin.
Morico ‘90 (civil engineering), Vice President and Client Account Executive for Jacobs® Global Environmental Solutions business, has 35 years of experience in environmental health and safety (EHS), sustainability and engineering. Morico is an active member of the Society of Civil Engineers, President of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and a former President of the National Association of Environmental Engineers.
Chrysochoou, Armstrong Gouin, and Morico all intend to empower young females through the platforms that they have available to them, and feel that the UConn’s emphasis on embracing female engineers provides an exceptional pathway to success.
“Our department has been a leader in empowering women in the engineering profession, and was the first department to have an exceptionally large amount of women. We have a strong history and legacy of that,” Chrysochoou said.
“To think that I can serve as a role model, that I might make even a small difference in the lives of the young women with whom I interact and work, makes my heart very happy. Women are a natural fit in engineering. I wish more of them knew that!,”Armstrong Gouin said.
“It is an honor and privilege to be a role model and mentor young women pursuing STEM careers including engineering. I see myself as a kind of ‘Sherpa,’ providing guidance and there is nothing more gratifying to see young women aspire to leadership positions in the field,” Morico said.
The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on November 4, 2019, from 6-9 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center, where Chrysochoou, Armstrong Gouin and Morico will be honored. For more information on the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame and the 2019 Induction Ceremony, visit https://www.cwhf.org.