Katherine Luckasavitch, BASC '18, School Of Engineering
"Getting involved in the campus community has been the most valuable experience while studying engineering at UBC Okanagan."
I chose the Okanagan campus because of its tight-knit community and small class sizes. In my first year I joined Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE), an engineering and technical sciences sorority. I went on to hold multiple positions in the sorority including Fundraising Chair, vice president and president. I expanded my involvement on campus as president of Women in Engineering (WiE), and as vice president, finance of the Engineering Society (EngSoc).
Why did you choose engineering?
My high school physics teacher was an engineer who had worked in industry for five years and fostered my love for math and science. She made learning fun and instilled the desire to learn as well as brought education and career opportunities to our attention. When I was in grade 12, she ensured I attended a field trip to Women in Engineering Day at the University of Calgary for grade 10 and 11 students. At Women in Engineering Day I participated in a design contest, watched demonstrations and listened to a panel discussion featuring female role models. When I got home from the field trip I applied to engineering and I haven’t looked back.
What has made your time at the School of Engineering most memorable?
Getting involved!! Don’t get me wrong, my classes were interesting, but it was what I did outside the classroom that stands out. The School of Engineering offers opportunities for students to volunteer with outreach programs and events including the Open House, SD23 Science Fair, and GoEngGirl. And introducing middle and high school students to the amazing world of science and engineering has been very rewarding and memorable for me.
Tell me about your experience in engineering. What have you learned that is most valuable?
I learned the importance of teamwork in engineering. Whether I was hosting an event or completing a project, having a team to tackle a task and work efficiently was the only way I was able to get the job done.
What has been your most memorable/valuable non-academic experience studying engineering at UBC?
Getting involved in the campus community has been the most valuable experience while studying engineering at UBC Okanagan. My involvement in AOE, WiE and EngSoc gave me opportunities that I had never imagined. In my first year I participated in a power tools workshop hosted by WiE, eventually I hosted that very same workshop as president. With AOE. I was able to attend the Alpha Omega Epsilon International Convention in San Diego, California and North Charleston, South Carolina. With EngSoc I was able to attend a conference on diversity in engineering in Hamilton, Ontario.
What advice would you give a student considering engineering?
Try it! Engineering teaches you how to think and solve problems, what you do with that is up to you! Once you’re in engineering, stay organized — engineering is a demanding faculty with many assignments, projects and tests. I would not have survived engineering without my day planner (keeping track of deadlines was important so I could start tasks early, consult with my professors if I had any questions, and keep up to date on all club activities).
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from those around me. My parents, sister, friends, classmates and professors are all strong, smart and amazing individuals. I admire their drive and work ethic in making a positive impact in our community. Seeing the accomplishments of those around me inspires me to work hard and stay organized.
How will you go on to make a difference in our world?
In addition to an engineering career I plan to continue to be involved in creating awareness and promoting opportunities for women in science and engineering. I would like to be a part of outreach programs to students similar to the ones I attended as a high school student.