EVERETT, Wash. – Jan. 4, 2019 – The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) recognized Washington State University (WSU) Everett and Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture electrical engineering senior Kaitlin Ferguson, 19, of Brier, with one of the national association’s Rising Star awards. Fifteen awards are given annually to celebrate students’ contributions to SWE, the engineering profession, their campus and the community.

“I am incredibly honored and grateful for the support from the same community I am passionate to promote,” Ferguson said. “SWE has given me numerous opportunities to excel and has motivated me to work even harder in 2019.”

Ferguson, a graduate of Edmonds Community College, serves as the SWE president, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers secretary, a Boeing Scholar and a student ambassador at WSU Everett. With other members, she assisted in planning the first student-organized engineering Dinner with Industry event at WSU Everett in the fall. She will accept the award at SWE’s conference in Bellevue in April during a formal awards banquet.

Ferguson held a quality engineering internship at Boeing during the summer, shadowing radio-frequency engineers. She will work full-time for Boeing as a laser and electro-optical mechanical design engineer upon graduation in the spring, working on military-grade, solid-state lasers.

“Kaitlin exemplifies the leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship of our Washington State University Everett students,” Chancellor Paul Pitre said. “She applies what she has learned for the betterment of her peers and her community. I am incredibly proud of what she has achieved.”

“I’m grateful for the amazing faculty and staff at WSU Everett for nominating me, and I really appreciate the energy they put toward their students.” Ferguson said. She was nominated for the award by Dr. Ciera Graham and Holly Longman.

Award winners must exemplify continuing dedication to lead by example and demonstrate that a career in engineering can be a fulfilling, rewarding pursuit for women of any background.

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The Society of Women Engineers, founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit education and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers.