Professor, Electrical Engineering Technology
B.S. Electrical Engineering,University of Maine, 1986
M.S. Electrical Engineering,University of Maine, 1994
How did you become an engineer?
I didn’t start off knowing that I wanted to be an engineer. I knew that I enjoyed solving puzzles and problems and figuring out why things worked the way they did. I enjoyed math and the sciences, and I always loved things that challenged me. My parents and teachers saw all this and me, and suggested engineering – and it was a great suggestion, as engineering is where all those things come together!
Why Electrical Engineering? Why UMaine?
I chose UMaine because of its excellent reputation for undergraduate engineering education, and because I’m a Mainer, through and through. I enjoyed my own sense of freedom and independence I had at UMaine, but I also wanted to go home whenever I wanted to, for a home-cooked meal, good company, and a chance to sleep in my own bed! I chose Electrical Engineering because I had exposure to electricity through my father, who was the Superintended of Madison Electric Works while I was growing up. Talking with him and others who worked in the field really “sparked” my interest. It’s kind of a magical field because you can’t just SEE everything with electricity, like you can in the other majors – and it’s what we DO with electricity that makes it so much fun!
What made you come to UMaine as a student and as a faculty?
As a student, I came because of the reasons above. As a faculty member, I came to give back. When a colleague called and said they needed help, I joined the EET faculty thinking I’d teach for a short time then return to industry. But I found such a passion here – for helping students achieve their goals – that I’ve never wanted to leave! And now I’m going on my 21st year of teaching! UMaine offers so much to its community of learners, and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of that energy!
What are you doing currently at UMaine?
I teach a number of classes at UMaine – from introductory courses to graduate level, and from highly technical material to more of the “softer sciences.” My passions are in project management, career counseling for my students, and just a love for the interactions I have with my students in the classroom – and beyond. I have a large second family – all my graduates – who continue to be my friends throughout the years – I’ve even performed numerous marriage ceremonies for my alumni! That’s the kind of relationship-building I love, and it all starts here at UMaine.
Some useful advice to prospective female students?
Ask questions, and don’t ever STOP asking questions. Everyone says, “believe in yourself.” I say, “believe in your ability to LEARN.” If you’ve got the desire, there truly is nothing beyond your grasp. Make decisions in your life that will open MORE doors for you, not limit your options later on. Keep your eyes open; you may have your mind set on something now, but you have no idea where life will lead you. Be ready for it all!