Grace is a third-year student at Montana Technological University majoring in Environmental Engineering. Since joining the program, she has become very involved in all that the department has to offer. She is the treasurer and Pacific Northwest International Section (PNWIS) chapter head for the Environmental Engineers of Montana Tech club, works for the department as a lab assistant, and has done undergraduate research with professors in the department. As a sophomore, Grace took on the leadership role of forming her own team for the 2020 PNWIS Environmental Competition. During summer 2020, she completed an AmeriCorps term of service as a Conservation Intern for Montana Conservation Corps. This involved over 500 hours of community service dedicated to preserving the Montana wilderness. This summer, Grace will continue to work in the Rocky Mountain wilderness in Kellogg, Idaho for CDM Smith as an environmental engineering intern at the superfund location. Her passion is conservation and teaching others about the importance of being able to enjoy nature instead of abusing it. These experiences have helped her develop her leadership skills and made Grace more convinced that she has chosen the correct career path.
The national percentage for women in the STEM workforce is roughly 27%; Montana Tech is no exception to this statistic with a campus that is 70% male. The number of women entering STEM is rising, however, it is very intimidating as a female when you are one of seven women in a fifty-student class. Eliminating the number of females that feel they cannot pursue a career in STEM due to this fact should be the industry's goal. I am studying to become an environmental engineer where I am fortunate enough to have several women role models in the department. They have inspired me to persevere through the gender discrimination I have faced and turn the discomfort into progressive actions for women in STEM. I am treasurer and Pacific Northwest International Section chapter head for Environmental Engineers of Montana Tech which has allowed me to reach out to prospective female engineers and inform them of their importance for women to not only be present in the STEM field but active and confident in their abilities. Reminding women how imperative they are in STEM is necessary until the inequality women face is eliminated.