SAE Foundation Annual Report 2013 - 11

By joining Women's Baja, the Lady Eagles learn new skills, obtain leadership experience
and gain engineering self-confidence without the pressures and biases associated with
participation on a co-ed team. Team co-captain (2012-2013), Jana Thompson explains,
"The fact that the team is all women alleviates the intimidation factor and ensures equal
opportunities for all of its members." Former team captain (2008-2009), Kelly Patterson
further clarifies its appeal, "It's just nice to finally be around engineers who think like I do.
I spend all day in the classroom with mostly guys; we can take the same set of facts and
come to completely opposite conclusions."
Unlike the majority of SAE Baja teams, the Lady Eagles team is not part of a senior design
course. With the voluntary gender restriction imposed on the team, incorporating this
into a senior design project would be difficult. More importantly it would preclude the
participation of underclassmen. Encouraging underclassmen to participate has always been
a fundamental philosophical underpinning of the Lady Eagles. Many Lady Eagles join
as freshmen and participate throughout all four years of their undergraduate experience,
creating a very close knit, strongly bonded team.
This team has been instrumental in developing quite a few of ERAU's female graduates into
industry-ready engineers. Every single one of the Lady Eagles has successfully graduated
and earned an engineering position, many of whom directly attribute their professional
success to their participation on the Lady Eagles Baja team. It is clear that this women's
team is unique and provides a wonderful opportunity for female students. It prepares
them in ways that the classroom simply cannot, providing them a creative outlet, the
chance to make friends and to network and the means to renew their excitement for the
engineering profession.

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SAE Foundation Annual Report 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SAE Foundation Annual Report 2013

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