The Engineered Attorney
Jakarra Jones will graduate in 2004 from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial and systems engineering. But she has no aspirations to become an engineer. She loves inventions, yet has no plans to create and design innovative gadgets. Instead, Jones wants to enter law school upon graduation. She intends to become a patent attorney, and having an engineering degree is a handy background.
Oddly, Jones' greatest strength in high school was creative writing. "I was accepted into the Alabama School of Fine Arts for my creative writing," says Jones. But during those high school years, Jones discovered a knack for the science. "In high school I loved math and science, so I joined the Future Engineers of America."
At Georgia Tech, Jones joined the Society of Women Engineers, and this year, heads up the group as president. In addition to her interest in the arts and sciences, Jones also wants to pursue a social agenda. Her dream job is working in engineering law in order to "bring the bottom socio-economic level to a higher standard." To achieve this she would like to work with an organization that teaches third-world people how to get clean water. E-mail Jakarra at firstname.lastname@example.org
Engineering in the Blood
Matt Gentry could have predicted that engineering would come to him naturally. Both of his parents are engineers. His mom worked as a mechanical engineer and his dad as an engineer in computer science. But the younger Gentry will receive a degree in aero space engineering at the University of Michigan this spring and move on to master's work at U. of M. later this year. Gentry has pursued his interest in aerospace through his involvement in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) chapter at U. of M. He got involved to meet like-minded students, but since he enjoyed the activities and field trips, he decided to join the chapter's leadership. Gentry now leads the group as president. Gentry is also involved in a project to create the first human-powered helicopter. He and fellow students were challenged by the offer of $25,000 to the first group to create a craft that can reach 3m altitude and stay off the ground for at least 60 seconds. "We're finishing our first prototype to test late this summer or early fall," notes Gentry. E-mail Matt at email@example.com
From Pizza to Mechanical Engineering
Mike Casper was lured to a meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers by the promise of good pizza. He was a freshman at the time, hoping to meet other students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Now that he's a junior, he holds the position of vice chairman in the chapter. "I came to this huge school and wanted to do something that would help me stand out," says Casper. While working toward a degree in mechanical engineering, Casper is also pursuing a certificate in business. "I thought it would be good to have a business background, since I will probably go into industry," explains Casper. "I think it's a great asset, plus it gives me a break from the engineering classes." In his sophomore year, Casper joined Engineering Projects in Community Services (EPICS), which took on the task of designing a fishing pole that could be operated by a paraplegic. Casper and the team created a pole that manages to cast and retrieve its line by the use of four buttons. "You can actually cast longer or shorter by pushing the button harder or softer," he says. After obtaining his degree in mechanical engineering, Casper intends to continue his studies in graduate school. E-mail Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org