Panel Inspires Young Women to Enter Engineering

March 13, 2017

High school students heard from faculty, administrators and current students The evening's program A student panel closed the evening, from left: Rachel Klar ChE’19, Kavya Udupa BSE’19, Brenda So EE’18 and Arielle Mayourian CE’18  Associate Dean Anita Raja spoke to prospective engineering students Students studying the program of sessions designed for high school girls considering engineering
High school students heard from faculty, administrators and current students

On Thursday, March 9, The Cooper Union hosted nearly 100 high school students from the tri-state area for the annual Women in Engineering event. The event welcomed prospective female engineering students and their families to learn more about Cooper’s program from faculty, administrators and current students.

“While we still have a long way to go to have more gender balance in the STEM fields, we hope that programs like this will encourage attendees to further explore Cooper Union, our engineering programs and careers in STEM fields,” says Mitchell Lipton, vice president of enrollment services and dean of admissions, whose department organized the event. He told students, “Not only can you do it, you should do it! We need more women in the STEM fields helping to shape research and pedagogy along with professional practice.”

Sara Wong, the president of Cooper’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a co-sponsor of the event, also welcomed guests to attend Cooper to “tackle problems and improve the quality of life.” At The Cooper Union, SWE strengthens the female engineering community through a mentorship program, professional development and volunteer opportunities.

Attendees had the option of attending three topical breakout sessions: research culture led by Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs Anita Raja, career development resources led by Director of Engineering Career Development & Outreach Jolie Woodson, and application and financial aid information. The program ended with a student panel addressing common questions about engineering and Cooper Union in general.

During the program, President Laura Sparks noted that the previous day was International Women’s Day. “While the emphasis of this global observance was on illustrating what a day looks like without women, I’d like to reset the agenda a bit for us tonight to focus on what engineering can look like with women,” she said.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.