It seems to be a common occurrence to find a female health science major around Gannon University, but it can be difficult to find a female student who majors in an engineering field of study.
Jeanette Mosier, a senior mechanical engineering major, decided to pursue an engineering degree because she was really interested in math and science growing up. She also felt that a degree in mechanical engineering would translate well into the workforce.
All fields of study are required to take some classes in the Core of Discovery, but engineering majors are required to take classes that are quite unique to their major. Calculus 4 and Physics 5 constitute the base of what mechanical engineering majors need to know for the rest of their classes.
Mosier mentioned that a lot of people do not make it past the first two years of study. Once into the junior year of the program, students start to work more toward their specialties by taking thermal science classes and technical electives. This is also the time where the different types of labs begin. This includes fluids, heat transfer, strength and materials, and automatic control.
She also said that at times, being a mechanical engineering major can be a bit overwhelming. Her field of study does not involve a lot of memorization, but rather a lot of problem solving and critical thinking. This is where the calculus and physics classes come in handy.
In addition to that, she is also active outside of the classroom. Along with being the president of the Society of Women Engineers at Gannon, she is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society.
On top of that, Mosier has an internship at General Electric part time. She works 12 to 19 hours per week. She says that it has helped her get her feet wet. Also, over the summer, she had an internship at Pratt & Whitney, a jet engine manufacturer, which gave her a job offer for when she graduates.
Nichole McGuire, a sophomore at Gannon, studies another area of engineering: electrical engineering. She became interested when she went to a camp in 10th grade that was all about engineering. She enjoyed the more hands-on approach they had to offer. Also, her brother-in-law was an engineer, so she had the opportunity to shadow him and liked the type of work he got to do.
McGuire mentioned that she liked the small electrical engineering program at Gannon. She receives hands on help easily and everyone knows each other, especially when there are only three people in one class.
Some of the classes she gets to take include Signals and Systems, Electronics 1 and 2, Physics, Differential Equations, Intro to Computer Programming and labs.
Like Mosier, McGuire is also involved in a variety of engineering-related organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers, Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers, High Altitude Student Payload, and Scholars of Excellence in Engineering and Computer Science.
Add cheerleading and Alpha Sigma Alpha to this, and she is left with no free time.
With her program, McGuire says the material can be hard, but it is manageable.
She just has to be able to apply what she has learned in calculus and physics to her more difficult classes.
Oftentimes people are surprised when McGuire tells them that she is an electrical engineering major. She gets a bigger reaction because girls in that program are so hard to find. There is only one girl in every year.
Upon completion of her program, McGuire would like to get involved with a bigger electrical engineering company. This would open up more opportunities for her to travel.
It is not so shocking to hear of a guy who studies in the engineering department. Benjamin Thompson, a sophomore, majors in environmental engineering.
He became interested in the program because he likes building and problem solving.
Like McGuire, Thompson enjoys the small size of his department. It is easier for him to get to know everyone. Also, the teachers in the department are more available.
Thompson said that at times his classes can be time consuming and his major can be challenging.
The first and second semesters have a heavy course load, but it lightens up as the major goes on.