King Street Chronicle

Engineering seniors design their futures in college and beyond

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Gabrielle Wheeler '23

Four seniors will delve deeper into the field of engineering at their respective universities.

Four Sacred Heart Greenwich seniors’ pursuit of engineering will help close the gender gap in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field.  Lydia Fullerton, Gabby Lauria, Fiona Powers, and Maddie Wise will study to increase the number of female engineers, which is currently at 3.75 percent, according to census.gov.  They each credit their interest in engineering to their STEM coursework throughout high school.  All four students will bring both the support and skills gained at Sacred Heart with them to college and beyond.

Seniors Fiona Powers and Gabby Lauria work together on a biology stop motion animation activity.  Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

Engineering is a diverse field that can open doors to careers in healthcare, transportation, education, and government, according to sites.tufts.edu.  Engineering specialties include chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and further subspecialties, according to nacme.org.  Lydia, Gabby, Fiona, and Maddie are interested in a variety of career paths and look forward to applying their study of engineering to any of their interests.

Gabby will study biomedical engineering at Bucknell University.   As a student in the Science Research program since ninth grade, she presents her research at the Connecticut STEM Fair each year.  This year, Gabby placed third in the Team category of the Connecticut STEM Fair for her research with senior Caroline Hisler.  They studied the relationship between high school football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  Caroline and Gabby proposed an app that would help medical professionals discover early symptoms of CTE through analysis of game footage.  Gabby aspires to fuse her interests in engineering and healthcare to work on projects similar to this in the future.  She plans to attend medical school and use her knowledge of medicine and engineering to creatively solve medical problems.

Lydia will explore the field of engineering at the College of the Holy Cross.  She is interested in engineering because she looks forward to the diverse career opportunities available to her upon graduation and appreciates the subject’s creativity in problem-solving.  Lydia has always enjoyed math and believes engineering will help her in any career that she chooses to pursue.  Lydia appreciates the opportunities that Sacred Heart provided to explore her different academic interests and is excited to take on a diverse course load at the College of the Holy Cross.  The College of the Holy Cross’ option to double major appealed to Lydia’s interest in a multitude of different subjects.

Fiona visits Colby College where she will study engineering in the fall. Courtesy of Fiona Powers ’22

“Throughout my high school experience, I never felt like I had one subject that I was interested in above all else,” Lydia said.  “I enjoyed math, English, and history all to the same degree; I never felt as if I was drawn to one over the other.  However, I know that as a student and learner, I am drawn to creativity and innovation in school.  I am an art student and found that I always tried to utilize creative outlets when studying or learning at Sacred Heart.  While engineering is largely math and science-based, the fields that are available to engineering students offer so much creativity and diversity which attracts my interest.”

Fiona will attend Colby College to study computational and software engineering with a focus on data science.  Colby’s computer science department and expanding data science program appealed to her as well as the college’s new Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence.  

Fiona has studied computer science at Sacred Heart every year in the Upper School.  Last year, she finished the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) computer science curriculum and the Sacred Heart course path and chose to take an online python course through Carnegie Mellon University.  Both her experience taking computer science classes during her four years at Sacred Heart and her experience studying AP statistics this year led her to explore the field of design and construction.  As computer science and statistics overlap with data science and engineering, Fiona discovered the subject as a way for her to continue studying the four disciplines. 

“I am really excited to pursue Data Science.  It is a new field both in the US workforce and at undergraduate institutions,” Fiona said.  “Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and [Computer Science] are becoming increasingly more important in the modern world and are heavily intersectional to most work fields.”

Maddie will arrive at the University of Virginia (UVA) in the fall and study in UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.  While she currently majoring in biomedical engineering, she is also interested in studying systems engineering.  She believes that the track will allow her to explore the intersection of business and engineering.  Maddie hoped to attend UVA because it is a large research university that offers undergraduate students numerous opportunities to engage in laboratory research.   

Maddie first began thinking about a career in science during her freshman year when she took electives in computer science and math.  She enjoyed learning about the real-world applications of these STEM subjects.  Engineering appeals to Maddie as the field allows her to combine her interests in computer science and math and apply those interests to improve the lives of others.  Beyond college, Maddie aspires to create healthcare technology to combat disease. 

“I believe that engineering is extremely important for many reasons, but most significantly, because of the real-life implications it has on individuals,” Maddie said.  “Recently, my uncle was treated for prostate cancer with a CyberKnife — a type of technology that uses high energy X-Rays to deliver radiation beams that destroy tumor cells and halt tumor growth without damaging healthy, surrounding tissue.  The CyberKnife, and technologies similar to it, is exactly what I hope to do down the line; creating tools to improve the health of others would be my ideal use of an engineering degree.”

Featured Image by Gabrielle Wheeler ’23

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Gabrielle is looking forward to an exciting year as News Editor of the King Street Chronicle. Gabrielle is eager to work with the new staff writers and...

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Engineering seniors design their futures in college and beyond

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