Iowa State University

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777



Diane Rover, College of Engineering, (515) 294-1309,

Diane Brown, Chemical Engineering student,

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917,

Iowa State joins global marathon to encourage women to study engineering

AMES, Iowa -- Diane Brown wants young women to know that engineering is more than equations and calculations.

Engineering is about solving problems, she said. It's about meeting challenges. It's about working with collaborators. It's about contributing to research projects. And it's just right for her.

"I love solving problems," said the Iowa State University freshman from Des Moines who's majoring in chemical engineering and Spanish. "I'm glad I chose to study engineering because it offers so much flexibility and such a wide range of fields."

Brown plus seven other Iowa State engineering students and graduates joined Diane Rover, an associate dean for Iowa State's College of Engineering, in telling a World Wide Web audience about engineering as a field of study and a path to leadership.

The presentation was part of the "2007 Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering." The 24-hour marathon from 11 a.m. Thursday, March 22, to 11 a.m., Friday, March 23, featured electronic conversations from around the world about women in engineering. It was designed to send the message that women are still underrepresented in engineering, help dispel myths about women and girls studying and working in science and technology and raise awareness about the diversity, quality and number of engineers working today. The global marathon was facilitated by the National Engineers Week Foundation.

Conference organizers say fewer than 10 percent of engineers in the United States are women.

Iowa State's presentation, "Discover Your Styles of Engineering Leadership," was 9-9:30 a.m. on March 23. The presentation is available on the College of Engineering's Web site.

Rover said the Iowa State presentation was designed to help young women exploring engineering understand that the world needs engineers to come up with technical solutions to problems such as global warming and also to be leaders who influence society's response to such challenges.

"What attracts girls to engineering is how engineering impacts people's lives," Rover said. "It's how engineering can be a positive and can make society better. We want to highlight that to these students participating in the marathon."

The Iowa State presentation also highlighted the College of Engineering's Engineering Leadership Program. The college launched its leadership program last spring and named its first class of 17 freshmen 3M Scholars last fall. The college's goal is to eventually have 60 of the 3M Scholars on campus. A $500,000 gift from the 3M Corp. of St. Paul, Minn., is providing each of the scholars with $2,500-a-year scholarships for four years. The gift also supports development of the college's leadership program.

Helping Rover and Brown discuss engineering leadership during the global marathon were Iowa State students Amy Joines, a senior in computer engineering from Blue Grass; Sasha Kemmet, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering from Adel; Sarah Walter, a senior in mechanical engineering from West Chicago, Ill.; Katie Gidlewski, a senior in chemical engineering from Ames; and Heather McCall, a junior in industrial engineering from Shenandoah. Iowa State alumni Tamara Pitts, a 2006 graduate in civil engineering who's a traffic studies specialist for the Missouri Department of Transportation, and Cristina Saint Blancard, a 2006 graduate in mechanical engineering who's a graduate student in biomedical engineering at Ohio State University, were also be part of the presentation.

For more information about the global marathon, see


Quick look

Iowa State engineers joined a global marathon March 23 to encourage young women to consider engineering as a career. The Iowa Staters' Internet presentation featured engineering students, alumni and administrators talking about the opportunities for leadership in engineering. The Iowa State presentation is available on the College of Engineering Web site.


"I love solving problems. I'm glad I chose to study engineering because it offers so much flexibility and such a wide range of fields."

Diane Brown, an Iowa State freshman from Des Moines who's majoring in chemical engineering and Spanish