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Kathleen Mayer

Since graduating in May ’08 (B.S. Electrical Engineering), Kathleen went to work at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Newport, RI, where she is conducting work on passive sonar for submarines in the Passive Systems Engineering Branch. Read Kathleen’s pre-graduation profile, below.

High School: Newtown High School, Newtown, CT

What attracted you to UConn
“I looked at seven colleges, including RIT, the University of Rochester, Purdue, Cornell, WPI, RPI and UConn. I was accepted by all of them, which made my choice a little harder. My top picks quickly became Cornell and UConn and I spent a lot of time researching both programs. I made a big chart and listed the pros and cons of the two. In the end, UConn was the clear choice. A major reason was the School of Engineering’s Bridge program. [Managed by the Engineering Diversity Program, Bridge is an intensive summer program for incoming freshman engineering students from underrepresented populations.] UConn offers a range of attractive features from tutoring and merit scholarships to an honors program that included honors housing, and of course the Bridge program. I’ve never once regretted my decision to come to UConn. It has been a great experience.”

Impressions
“Mary Ann Ruud, Kimberly Duby, Kevin McLaughlin [director of the Engineering Diversity Program] and Assistant Dean [Marty] Wood have been incredibly supportive of women in engineering. They do a superb job of encouraging female engineers and creating a welcoming environment. Also, the Bridge program was a very important part of my experience. In Bridge, you make friends who stay with you all four years. This creates a great support network.”

“I’m also impressed with the free tutoring available to engineering students, and our dedicated computer labs, which are very well maintained. These types of resources, and the network of friends I made through Bridge, have been invaluable.”

Kathleen interned with Gems Sensors & Controls in Plainville, CT, during summer ’07, where she automated a multipurpose test station to accommodate multiple interfaces. Gems Sensors & Controls is sponsoring a senior design project this year on which Kathleen is a team member. She spent the two prior summers working at a process control instrumentation company, Bristol Babcock in Watertown, CT, where she gained hands-on experience in the lab and in computer programming.

Beyond Academics
“I enjoy volunteering for the engineering outreach programs, such as Multiply Your Options, a workshop that introduces 8th grade girls to engineering and science. Also, I was president of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering honor society last year. My focus as president was on increasing awareness of Eta Kappa Nu. When I was invited to join at the end of my sophomore year, I had no idea what the organization was, so raising awareness was an important goal. We designed and sold UConn Engineering sweatshirts, and you see them everywhere on campus (supplies are still available!). The intent was both to raise recognition for the society and to generate money. This was great, but what I see as the most important success was the organization’s sponsorship of tutoring for some of the advanced and more difficult courses in electrical engineering.”