Gaining a global perspective, two female engineers find support from 100+ Women Strong

By Lauren Winton

Published: Oct 23, 2019 11:07:00 AM

Jessica Collier Jessica Collier

Jessica Collier, a senior in mechanical engineering, is a third generation Auburn student who “bleeds orange and blue.” She came to Auburn because she loved it. She stayed for engineering.

“I grew up coming to Auburn football games,” Collier said with a laugh. “Auburn was an easy choice. And when I shadowed my brother for a day during his co-op – he’s a chemical engineer – I had the opportunity to talk to some of the people in the industry. I decided then that I wanted to go into engineering.”

Studying mechanical engineering has allowed Collier to dive deep into problem solving, work with different teams and find her place within the field. An internship at GE Aviation and Boeing directed Collier’s career passions, and, in August 2020, she will start a new role with Boeing, working on NASA’s Space Launch System.

“During my internship at the Boeing 787 program, the CEO came to speak to the interns about the Space Launch System. He was on fire about the program, and it was contagious,” Collier said. “So, I called up one of my coworkers and said ‘you have to get me involved in this.’”

Collier’s intrepid spirit and ambition, which has launched her success, was sparked during her time studying abroad.

“It was a transformative experience for me,” Collier said. “Especially the final course I took in France.”

During the summer of 2019, Collier spent several weeks in Florence, Italy, at culinary school. Then she traveled through Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Switzerland, finishing her study abroad experience in Cap d’Agde, France.

“We were in this beautiful town by the water,” Collier said. “I took a pastry class because I like to bake, but it was intense.”

The five-week course culminated in a semester-long placement in a Michelin 3-star restaurant.

“I opted out of the later internship in order to come back and finish my engineering degree,” Collier said. “But the course was no joke. It was actually extremely helpful to me as an engineer. It taught me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable – to take risks and perform, even if there’s a possibility of failure.”

Collier’s study abroad experience reinforced the knowledge she gained through Auburn Engineering coursework. And the 100+ Women Strong travel award she received bolstered her confidence in her mechanical engineering abilities.

“I was actually in Italy when I learned that I had been awarded the 100+ Women Strong travel award,” Collier said. “I think just knowing that there is such a strong group of successful women engineers who want to see you succeed validates everything you’re doing. I feel so blessed to have received their support. It made me feel like my time abroad was valued – not just by me.”

Like Collier, Morgan Price, ’18 and ’19 mechanical engineering, has a transformative study abroad experience. A recent graduate of the master’s program, Price looks back on her time in Auburn Engineering with gratitude.

“Auburn Engineering was more than an education experience for me,” Price said. “I experienced a community of professors and peers that stood alongside me through my growth both professionally and personally.”

Morgan Price (Center) in Amsterdam

Part of Price’s growth included traveling to Italy during her master’s program. Her study abroad was made possible through the support of 100+ Women Strong.

“The 100+ Women Strong travel award gave me the opportunity to even consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I never would have been able to afford on my own. I had never even thought about being able to study abroad until I was in graduate school and heard about the scholarship,” Price said.

Price was one of several graduate and undergraduate students to study abroad in Florence, Italy. The course: biomechanics and engineering in the arts. The course included scheduled activities such as cooking classes, tours of the city, art museums and much more.

“I got to experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities with some of the best people I know,” Price stated. “My classmates on the trip are some of the most observant, witty, thought-provoking people, so getting to experience the engineering and artistic marvels that we did was much more meaningful with the insightful discussions that followed.”

Both Price and Collier experienced Auburn Abroad, were transformed by it, and both were touched by the generosity of a group of strong, educated women in engineering. These pivotal opportunities are made possible through the support of 100+ Women Strong.

To learn more about the biomechanics and engineering in the arts, click here. To learn more about 100+ Women Strong, visit https://www.eng.auburn.edu/giving/100-women-strong/.

 

Media Contact: Lauren Winton, lmw0090@auburn.edu, 334.844.5519

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