Kaeley Ipson, a second-year civil engineering major in Raritan Valley Community College's Honors College, is a student leader dedicated to academic excellence and service. At RVCC, Kaeley has participated in multiple engineering-related experiences that have benefitted the campus and community. Through her service learning coursework, she assisted engineers at a local municipal office mapping out detention basins and educating residents about retro fitting. For an Honors Research Capstone project, she developed an innovative "Hourglass" hydroponic system designed to be efficient, cost effective, and practical enough to be utilized by busy low-income families. As President of Enactus, an entrepreneurial club, she worked on an "illuminut" shake-light project manufacturing eco-friendly lights, with profits benefitting a local food pantry. Her Enactus efforts also included overseeing several community service projects; volunteering at a food pantry garden; creating a hydroponic competition for homeschooled students; and offering multiple hydroponic demonstrations for a food pantry, environmental center, and K-12 schools. Through RVCC's Authentic Engineering Experience, Kaeley and a student team designed a new road through 42 acres that an engineering firm will use to develop the land. As VP of Communications for the Society of Women Engineers, she participated in projects supporting young females pursuing STEM careers.
The words of Mahatma Gandhi, "the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others," really resonate with my own experiences. Entering Raritan Valley Community College, I didn't know who I was, what I liked, or what I wanted to do. Despite my lack of personal clarity, I was fortunate enough to have so many opportunities and professors at RVCC that motivated me to serve others. And though I didn't know it at the time, these experiences helped me discover my own passions in life.
I was part of an RVCC team that created "illuminut" shake-lights, whose profits were donated to a local food pantry. Through my experience with Enactus' hydroponics project, I donated fresh produce to the pantry; empowered others to learn about growing healthy, affordable food; and donated hydroponics systems to local residents. During my leadership roles in Enactus and the Society of Women Engineers, I oversaw several community service projects that helped people in all stages of life. And through my service, I found my passion for engineering, my love for educating, my ability for leadership, and a lifelong hobby for hydroponics.