Engineering Her Future

By: Tiffany Ventura Thiele, UConn Foundation 

A photo from UConn’s School of Engineering SPARK summer program, which gives young women in middle school and high school access to week long learning programs that focus on different engineering disciplines.

 

UConn’s School of Engineering sets the national standard for closing the gender gap.
Women make up 24.3 percent of UConn’s engineering graduates–tops among public institutions nationally.

How does UConn do it? It’s all about programs and outreach for aspiring female engineers, some of which starts well before college. These include:

-Multiply Your Options, an all-day conference for eighth grade girls

-A five-week intensive summer program called BRIDGE that prepares underrepresented freshmen students for the engineering curriculum.

-An active chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, which helps support students’ professional interests, and,

-A female-focused Living and Learning Community called WiMSE (Women in Math, Science and Engineering), a residential experience for female STEM majors at the Peter J. Werth Residence Tower.

 
“The good news is that we have made strides in all majors, but significant work remains to be done,” said Dr. Daniel D. Burkey, Professor-in-Residence in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Diversity.

“Alumni and philanthropic support is a critical piece,” Burkey said. “By providing scholarships and other financial incentives and making it easier for underrepresented students to choose UConn, we increase our success at getting and retaining those students here.”

Burkey’s advice to young women is to pursue their passion and find a mentor or other female STEM role model. We found three who shared their stories.

Click here to read more on the UConn Foundation website. 

Published: February 22, 2018