Today is National STEM Day – a day dedicated to the advancement of skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We interviewed CORRE construction engineer and STEM advocate, Mariel Crisci, about how the STEM movement has impacted her life. She is a recent college grad with involvement in the Women in STEM (WiSTEM) organization.
What first interested you in pursuing a career in STEM?
I was first interested in pursuing a career in STEM when I was younger because of my love of science and math. I was always outside and helping my father with home improvement projects.
What was your favorite part of being involved with WiSTEM?
My favorite part about being involved in WiSTEM was having the opportunity to host outreach events for middle and high school girls at UW-Platteville. I really enjoyed interacting with young women and showing them how awesome a career in STEM can be.
In what ways has your life been changed through your education and involvement in STEM?
My life has been changed by finding a community of like-minded people, particularly in my civil engineering college courses. It has been rewarding being a part of construction projects that result in new roads and bridges for people to use every day.
“My advice to anyone pursuing a STEM career is don’t give up. Although the classes may be challenging, your career will be rewarding. “
Did you have a mentor or someone who inspired you? Tell us a bit about them if so.
My Mom’s friend, a Civil Engineer in Milwaukee, planted the seed of being an engineer when I was young. I was taken to her house, shown drawings, and got to play with AutoCAD. I didn’t understand what an engineer was then, but I knew I wanted to be one!
Any advice for anyone pursuing a career or education in STEM?
My advice to anyone pursuing a STEM career is don’t give up. Although the classes may be challenging, your career will be rewarding.
How have you seen the STEM movement change over the years you’ve been involved?
When I was younger, I was not exposed to many STEM outreach programs, and I am glad to see that various schools have been trying to implement STEM programs at the middle and high school levels. When I started school in 2016, my University’s Women in STEM program had 54 Women in the program. By the time I graduated in 2021, we had to expand the program to be able to hold 82 women. We still have women on the waitlist!