Kay Howell received exciting news to help cap off her sophomore year in a big way. She earned a $10,000 Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship that will support her pursuit of double majors in industrial engineering and mathematics.
She almost couldn’t believe it was real at first.
“It took me a while to process the award letter before telling anyone,” said Howell, a sophomore from Chattanooga. “I’ve always heard about big scholarships like that, but I honestly had no idea that me, an engineering student from Tennessee, would receive it.”
She found out about the scholarship from the college’s Office of Engineering Diversity Programs, and decided to go for it with the enthusiasm she applies to all of her endeavors.
“I believe that my passion—for my community and for my fields of study—has opened a lot of doors for me,” said Howell. “My love for STEM, children, and my community acts as a guiding light towards my future career.”
That guidance fuels her not just her double major, but also her two research positions and a hearty roster of campus involvement. She is an officer in the Society of Women Engineers, a member and mentor in the National Society of Black Engineers, and a member of the Association of Women in Mathematics. She also participates in the 1794 Honors Program, the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, and Alpha Pi Mu, the Industrial Engineering Honors Society.
Howell doesn’t lay low when she is off-campus, either. She manages an alumni program at her local high school, and she is establishing a mentoring program for girls interested in engineering.
“My involvement focuses on getting more young women involved in engineering through mentoring, outreach, and other forms of exposure,” she said. “In addition, I have taken other actions to ensure that I give back to my community and to ensure that I am always focusing on my passions, working hard, and chasing my dream.”
Her study focus in ISE is in reliability and maintainability engineering, supply chain and logistics, human factors, and ergonomics. Even before landing the new scholarship, she felt grateful for the guidance she has received in both of her majors.
“I would like to thank all of the faculty and staff in the Office of Engineering Diversity, the mathematics department, and the industrial & systems engineering department for their never-ending support,” said Howell. “I would like to give a special thanks to my mentors Kevin Sukanek, a senior lecturer in mathematics, Jalonda Thompson, the assistant director of Engineering Diversity Programs, and Travis Griffin, the director of Engineering Diversity Programs.”
The Lockheed Martin scholarship will help Howell continue to excel in her academic career without financial burden as she works toward her ultimate goal of obtaining both an Master’s degree in reliability and maintainability engineering and an MBA degree.
“My dream is to work as a project manager for a power/energy company as a reliability engineer,” she said.
The scholarship gives Howell a huge boost toward realizing her dream, but she lights the path for herself and other Volunteers in a most Big Orange way.