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Texas A&M-Kingsville hosts Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day during annual E-Week

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Girl Day group photo

Members of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and visiting students pose for a photo during the annual Introduce a Girls to Engineering Day event at the Memorial Student Union Building ballrooms Thursday, February 22, 2024.

KINGSVILLE (February 22, 2024) — More than 150 high school and middle school students visited the Texas A&M University-Kingsville as the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering hosted its annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day event Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the Memorial Student Union Building ballrooms.

The event is known as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day or “Girl Day” since it is a longstanding day celebrated internationally as part of the broader Engineers Week. Despite its name, however, all are welcomed and encouraged to attend as the intent is to engage and introduce all young minds to the world of engineering.

“For (the College of Engineering), this is an opportunity to reach out to our regional middle school and high school students and show them what engineering is all about, as well as what opportunities they have in the field.” said Dr. Heidi A. Taboada, professor and dean of the college of engineering. “What I want these kids to go home with is that engineering is for everyone. There are a lot of misconceptions that if you are not good at math or not strong enough, you cannot become an engineer. That is only one of the different traits we need in all our engineering students.”

The event began with a Dean’s Welcome from Taboada in which she discussed several characteristics that engineers should possess and statistics about the college of engineering.

Following the opening address, attendees were given the chance to take part in group building activities and win door prizes.

There also was a Q&A panel consisting of four Texas A&M-Kingsville alumni with engineering degrees.

Featured in the panel were:

  • Meagan Saverline, a 2015 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and current environmental analyst at Enbridge;
  • Rikki Ramos, a current graduate student with a 2023 BS in Mechanical Engineering;
  • Mariee Cruz, who graduated in 2019 with a BS in Industrial Management and Applied Technology, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering with a concentration on sustainable energy systems; and
  • Sydney Diaz, a 2022 graduate with a BS in Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering and a current Graduate Engineer II at Walter P. Moore Civil Infrastructure group in Dallas with team focus on site development.

Laura Salinas, Administrative Coordinator II for Taboada and was part of helping oversee the day’s event, said it was important to give attending students the chance to experience the panel and other activities since they may not get those opportunities elsewhere.

“The main thing is to make sure we’re exposing these kids to things like this,” she said. “Not everybody has a role model at home or somebody to encourage them to say, ‘I want to be an engineer.’ Bringing these kids here and helping them see that these are opportunities for them – things they can build tomorrow. It is interesting seeing them coming in and using phrases like ‘I didn’t know I could do that.’ and being able to get them involved in things and showing them that they are possible.”


Category: Engineering

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