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Impact Award, Spring 2022

Shannon McBreen

Alongside her studies as an engineering student in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Shannon McBreen spent much of her time helping first-year students transition from high school to college. 

McBreen served as a Fulton Ambassador, introducing prospective students to the Fulton Schools. She welcomed new students at E2, an immersive experience for incoming Fulton Schools students and she helped new students navigate life at ASU as a section leader in the ASU 101 course for first-year students. She also served as a student success aide for the First-Year Academic Success Team with The Polytechnic School Academic Advising Office

“I really enjoy sharing my experiences with students. I want to help them understand that they will experience many hiccups during their college careers and that is totally OK,” McBreen says. “College is about so much more than getting good grades and filling up a resume; it’s about learning new cultures, making friends and exploring your independence.”

One of the experiences at ASU that McBreen is most proud of was revitalizing the Women in Science and Engineering student organization on the Polytechnic campus. The organization had gone idle after members graduated, and McBreen decided to bring it back her sophomore year.

“I knew how important it was to create a space where women could support each other both personally and professionally,” says McBreen, who served as the organization’s president.

She gathered a few peers and they rebuilt the organization to include outreach and community service, professional development, social support and mental and physical wellness programming. In 2019, McBreen earned a Fulton Difference Award for her efforts.

McBreen’s academic career has been shaped by strong female leadership in The Polytechnic School’s advising team, particularly Cindy Boglin, Lindsey Morris and Maggie Lacerenza

“These three women have helped me find my voice as a leader in the ASU community,” McBreen says. “They have taught me that being tender and being fierce are not mutually exclusive.”

Now she is taking all that she’s learned and moving to New York City to work as a business and integration architecture analyst for the information technology and consulting company Accenture.

She doesn’t know yet what the future of her career will hold, but McBreen does know she wants to continue empowering women to rise as leaders in STEM and build herself up, too.

“I see many different paths that my career could go down,” McBreen says. “But no matter which direction it takes, at the end of the day, I know that I will be connecting with people and building bridges between business and technology.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ Spring 2022 class here.

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