Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2021
Elizabeth White describes herself as “a very organized person” who enjoys meticulously planning projects, developing processes and honing her time management skills.
No surprise then, White says, that she found industrial engineering the best fit for a college major. And the more she learned about the field, the more confident she became about her choice.
“We can work for manufacturing companies, service industries such as banks or hospitals, nonprofit organizations and much more. I am currently working at a geotechnical/survey company, where you would not necessarily expect an industrial engineer to fit in,” White says.
The thesis project she did as a student in ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College, also helped to assure her.
“I was able to work with professors from several universities in the U.S. and gain insights into the many research opportunities the National Science Foundation provides” to industrial engineers, says White, who received ASU’s New American University Scholarship to support her studies.
Three teachers in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU stand out among those who aided White’s progress.
Principal Lecturer Linda Chattin gave her an undergraduate teaching assistant position. In that role, White says that teaching other students about fundamental aspects of industrial engineering such as statistics and probabilities “further improved my own skills.”
Her research director, Professor Teresa Wu, “helped me grow by pushing me to venture out of my comfort zone” and into biology and other areas where she had thought her expertise would not apply, White says.
Professor of Practice Daniel McCarville helped to broaden her interest in different areas of her field — quality control, project management, and work analysis/design — and inspired her to develop a strong work ethic, she says.
Both Wu and McCarville encouraged White to take advantage of the Fulton Schools 4+1 program and pursue a master’s degree in industrial engineering.
She will begin graduate studies in the fall and hopes to work as a quality control engineer after earning the advanced degree.
White has already acquired “valuable insight into real-world engineering” through a senior-year engineering design capstone project that teamed professors, students and Salt River Project power and water utility company employees to analyze and improve the company’s materials return process.
The project reflects what White says she values most about her experience in the Fulton Schools.
“Through the support I’ve had and connections I have made with my peers and professors, I have an engineering family in the Fulton Schools,” she says, “and it’s good to know we will be there to support each other as we leave college and go into our careers.”
Among her career goals, White says, is “showing that as a woman I can succeed in a male-dominated field, and inspire other women to follow the same path.”