Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2023
Taylor Brown’s idea of fun is being challenged to solve problems in creative and innovative ways. She says that is what drove her to pursue a career in engineering.
Brown emphasizes that more importantly the field also opens paths not only to acquiring useful, in-demand skills, but also to doing work that positively impacts people’s lives.
Among the more memorable experiences that showed Brown how an education in construction engineering equips her to help others was a tour of a U.S. military veteran’s hospital that needed renovations.
During an internship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, she wrote reports about the need for engineering expertise to make improvements at a Carl T. Hyden Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Phoenix.
Visiting the hospital and completing the reports gave Brown stronger motivation to do more work on the project and to strive to become a leader in her profession.
“Leading teams on design and construction projects that result in great engineering achievements is what I want to be part of in the future,” she says.
Brown names Associate Teaching Professor Christopher Lawrence in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, as someone who has been particularly influential in her education.
She says courses Lawrence taught were among the most challenging she took, but were especially valuable in preparing her for the projects she was involved in outside of the classroom. Brown later worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for two of Lawrence’s courses.
Brown points out that, like other Fulton Schools faculty, Lawrence found ways for students to benefit through his connections to prominent construction industry companies and government agencies like NASA.
Brown made the dean’s list in four semesters of her undergraduate studies. Her academic talents also helped her earn a New American University Provost’s Award and the Chief Manuelito Scholarship from the Navajo Nation.
She has also been an active member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. It was at one of the organization’s conferences that she was hired as an Army Corps of Engineers student intern.
Brown also competed as part of a concrete solutions team that won the first-place award in Associated Schools of Construction regional student competition.
She says knowledge she has attained in the Fulton Schools is now particularly apparent to her when she sees construction sites.
“When I see specific things being built, I understand the purpose of the construction design behind them,” she says. “It’s cool to see something being built that’s based on a concept I’ve been taught in my classes.”
After graduation, Brown will begin a full-time job with the Los Angeles district of the Army Corps of Engineers.