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Sisters give back to future female engineers through 100+ Women Strong

By Lauren Winton

Published: Jan 4, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Jordan and Jesse McLeroy Jordan and Jesse McLeroy

For the true Auburn Family experience, twin sisters Jesse and Jordan McLeroy decided not only to attend Auburn together, they actually graduated with the same major. Both 2019 chemical engineering graduates, the McLeroy sisters are now in very different places – Jesse in Colorado and Jordan in Mobile – and very different engineering careers, but they started out together.

“Our parents brought us on a campus tour in the spring,” said Jesse. “I applied to seven different schools, but after our campus tour I was sold on Auburn.”

Like her sister, Jordan decided on Auburn after their campus tour. But she was drawn to Auburn because of the engineering program.

“I knew I wanted to go into engineering, and I know Auburn has the best engineering program in the state,” Jordan said.

That engineering degree has served Jordan well. Through her participation in the Auburn chapter of the AIChE, Jordan heard about Evonik Industries, the chemical company for which she now works.

“Evonik actually judged my senior design project,” said Jordan. “The work that I do now directly related to the coursework I took while I was in school.”

Where Jordan found her career in chemical engineering, Jesse found hers in a slightly different engineering discipline.

“I’m actually not working in the chemical engineering field now,” said Jesse, who serves as a research engineer for Lockheed Martin. “But Auburn is the reason I am with Lockheed.”

Jesse served as the president for the Auburn chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) while she was an undergraduate. Jordan was the vice president.

“I actually met a recruiter from Lockheed at a SWE event,” Jesse said. “And I was offered a job at a SWE conference. I think Lockheed has had great success at recruiting at these events. The past three SWE presidents now all work at Lockheed Martin.”

Both Jordan and Jesse had success in networking with other women in engineering while at Auburn. Through both SWE and 100+ Women Strong, the McLeroy sisters were able to connect to a community of support.

“We both loved participating in 100+ Women Strong events,” Jordan said. “It was wonderful because we were able to connect with so many women in engineering across all disciplines.”

“The events were what inspired me to look to a different field other than chemical engineering and realize that my engineering degree could be used in different ways,” Jesse said.

During their time in school, Jesse and Jordan found a close-knit group of women in engineering, both through the SWE, 100+ Women Strong and their chemical engineering cohort.

“When we graduated, I think we both felt that it was the right thing to give back to help the next generation of female engineers,” Jordan said.

Both Jesse and Jordan are members of 100+ Women Strong. Jesse has been a mentor to two engineering students, something Jordan would like to start soon.

“I try to instill confidence in them,” said Jesse. “In the workplace, I always see these capable men who are confident in their skills. There are equally capable and competent women, but they don’t always carry the same confidence. I hope to inspire future women in engineering to find that confidence, because they have so much to offer.”

While Jesse has leaned in to the mentorship opportunity, Jordan looks forward to the upcoming speed mentoring event.

“I think the last time the event was hosted was in the spring of my senior year,” she said. “I am so excited to see this event start again, because it is such a great opportunity to meet so many exceptional women in engineering across all engineering fields.”

When engineering courses get tough, Jesse and Jordan wholeheartedly agree that a strong community makes a difference. The sisters hope others can find their engineering family at Auburn and stay the course in engineering.

They both agree, “It’s worth it.”

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

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