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From the introduction of new perspectives to groundbreaking innovations, diversity is changing the face of engineering.

This year, the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University celebrated Women’s History Month by showcasing students, staff and faculty, and sharing their thoughts about embracing differences and offering advice to fellow women in STEM.

Here’s what they had to say:

Ph.D. student Shawanee Patrick
Shawanee Patrick | Image: Steve Kuhlmann

"Your uniqueness, your diversity and the adversity you go through are essential to progress. These are not things that make you 'other,' but make you necessary." — Ph.D. student Shawanee Patrick

Dr. Astrid Layton, assistant professor
Dr. Astrid Layton | Image: Hannah Conrad

“Just because a subject is hard for you and seems easy for everyone else doesn’t mean it isn’t for you. The hard stuff is often the most interesting and rewarding. It’s hard work, not talent, that creates success.” — Dr. Astrid Layton, assistant professor

Jennifer Bloom, academic advisor III
Jen Bloom | Image: Hannah Conrad

"College is such a unique time of endless possibilities and opportunities. Take the time to get involved, learn from those around you and challenge yourself. It’s also just as important to seek help when you need it. While sometimes it seems never-ending, four years will fly by in the blink of an eye." — Jen Bloom, academic advisor III

Ava Robicheaux, administrative assistant IV
Ava Robicheaux | Image: Hannah Conrad

“Don’t let stereotypes stop you from setting your own life goals. If someone else chooses a certain path, you aren’t obligated to follow them. Allow yourself to be bold.” — Ava Robicheaux, administrative assistant IV

Dr. Lesley Wright, associate professor and Jana and Quentin A. Baker '78 Faculty Fellow
Dr. Lesley Wright | Image: Hannah Conrad

"As engineers we are constantly working to improve the world around us, and in order to do so, we must effect change. We often focus on change in the form of discovery and technology development. The journey along this path is accelerated with the inclusion of diverse ideas. Therefore, we must continue to embrace change within the engineering workforce. We have the opportunity today to encourage young women to pursue careers in engineering where they can have a direct impact on the lives of people around the world." — Dr. Lesley Wright, associate professor and Jana and Quentin A. Baker '78 Faculty Fellow

Ph.D. student Namita Anil Kumar
Namita Anil Kumar | Image: Steve Kuhlmann

"We are fortunate to have among us experienced and wise human beings. It is our privilege and duty to acknowledge them, accept their teachings and build upon their achievements." — Ph.D. student Namita Anil Kumar