Outstanding Graduate + Impact Award, Fall 2023
Lauren Voorhees says she initially came to Arizona State University because of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering’s great reputation, and she hated the cold weather in Illinois.
She selected computer science engineering in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, part of the Fulton Schools, as her major because she enjoyed coding and wanted to learn more about hardware. Voorhees describes computer science engineering as computer science and electrical engineering having a baby. She found the major to be exciting and challenging.
“I persevered through very rigorous curriculums,” Voorhees says. “I wanted to give up at every turn, but I continued to work hard.”
Overcoming the rigors of her coursework inspired Voorhees to help others. She used her experience to guide classmates as a mentor, an E2 camp counselor and an ASU 101 section leader.
“I felt fulfillment in guiding freshmen students throughout the program,” Voorhees says. “I loved helping them decide who and what they wanted to become.”
She says she enjoys engineering because it enables you to solve complex problems and make the world a better place. One of the most memorable projects she worked on was a robot for her CSE 325 Embedded Microprocessor Systems class.
“We had to make an autonomous robot that was able to navigate a maze,” she says. “I built, soldered and programmed this robot to work completely on its own. I often carried my robot around with me, and I gave it a name, Neptune.”
Outside of her studies at the Fulton Schools, Voorhees was very involved in the performing arts.
“I acted in more than seven plays through the acting school and student theatre,” she says. “I also was an intimacy coordinator and a safety captain to make sure all performers were mentally and physically healthy.”
The New American University scholarship recipient says that it’s important for women to get into engineering because their voice matters.
“We have many amazing solutions and insights to problems based on our complex life experiences, and they deserve to be heard and implemented,” she says.