Tech sophomore Allie Smith helps lead OWISE Women’s Week

Apr 11, 2023 | Engineering and Science, Students

As a student liaison between Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science and the Office of Women in Science and Engineering (OWISE), Biomedical Engineering sophomore Allie Smith of Albany understands the value of mentorship.

Over the past few quarters, she’s learned to coordinate large-scale, multiday, multiorganizational events. Most notably, she led the student coordination of OWISE’s Women’s Week, which included more than a dozen activities conducted by OWISE, the Society of Women in Engineering, and Women in Cyber Engineering.

Smith, who has benefited from mentorship from OWISE Co-Directors Dr. Krystal Cruse, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Program Chair of the First-Year Living with the Lab Program, and Dr. Allie DeLeo-Allen, Lecturer of Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineering Technology, says she enjoys helping build the OWISE community at Louisiana Tech.

“I have had an amazing time working with OWISE and have learned a lot,” Smith said. “I have seen firsthand how much work goes into planning events, and providing students with as much support as possible is no simple feat. It has been wonderful having the opportunity to work with Dr. Cruse and Dr. DeLeo-Allen, and getting to know more females in COES has been incredibly wonderful.

“I think the work that OWISE does is important for the community. I have never had a bad experience with anyone in my classes; it is always nice to know the other girls. I hope that if someone is looking to expand their community, they find that with OWISE. I hope if someone needs to de-stress and relax a little, they find that with us. I hope if someone needs to be reminded that they are not alone and there are more of us out here on the same journey, they find that.”

Of all the events that Smith has helped coordinate, she says that the Women’s Week activities – notably the Women’s Panel – were the most exciting to her.

“I always love the opportunity to hear from women in STEM fields. In college, we can often have unrealistic or skewed views of how being in the workforce will be, and I always find it comforting to hear from people in the positions I want to be in one day.”

In addition to working with OWISE, Smith is active in the Biomedical Engineering Society and Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and she is engaged in learning as much as possible about her field, which sometimes means meeting with professors during office hours for long discussions.

“Professors and personal research showed me how broad of a field biomedical engineering is,” Smith said. “I have never been to a professor’s office hours where I felt unwelcome or rushed. I tend to be talkative, and I have had countless conversations with professors about everyday life. Professors do not have to do that. They could teach their required courses and then leave the room, but most of the professors at Tech want to talk to you and know you, and sometimes that can make all the difference. I am excited to continue to pursue a Biomedical Engineering degree at Louisiana Tech.”