KU WOMEN DISTINCTION
Senior, Chemical Engineering
Other Achievements or Honors
National Merit Finalist, KU Engineering Ambassador (2 years), Project Discovery Camp Counselor (3 years), Owl Society President, Mortar Board member, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Community Service Chair and Senior Class Representative, Tau Beta Pi member, Order of Omega member, Lambda Sigma member, Chi Omega Sorority member, Mentors in the Lives of Kids volunteer, Foster Parent's Night Out volunteer
What led you to your area of study/field of interest?
I have always dreamed of becoming a doctor and Chemical Engineering offered the most challenging curriculum to help prepare me for the rigorous study that medical school will require. My older sister, a chemical engineering graduate of KU, served as my mentor and encouraged me to pursue this field of study realizing the challenge would serve me well whether I continued into medical school or pursued a job in the marketplace.
What honor, achievement or accomplishment is most meaningful to you? Why?
Serving as a student senator had been the achievement of which I am most proud. It is truly an honor to have been elected by my peers for three straight years. In my representing the engineering department, this position has allowed me to give back to the University to try to make it a better place for all students. My role as student senator has allowed me to influence many initiatives that have been undertaken over the past 3 years that have served to make KU a better place.
Who has been influential or had a significant impact on your life?
My sister Kelli has been the most influential person in my life. Although she is four years older, we have always been very close, and she has served as a wonderful role model for me from childhood through my college career. She was the first to come to KU, the first to major in Chemical Engineering, and the first to be a student senator. She demonstrated by example all of the options that were available to me. She has always supported and pushed me when I became discouraged. She has aided me in finding my potential and always encouraged me to perform at my best.
Why do you believe it is important to recognize women for their accomplishments?
I am involved in a field of study that contains a very low percentage of women so I see daily how important it is to continue to both encourage women to become involved in fields where they have historically been in the minority and to recognize those women who take the chance and do. We need to continue to encourage women to get out of their comfort zone and not accept the roles society has assigned them in the past. By doing so, women will be able to take part in and positively influence many more areas of human endeavor than they ever have before.
What is a most favorite/least favorite memory as a student?
I have many wonderful memories from my time as a KU student that I shall cherish long after I leave Lawrence. I shall always remember those six-hour student senate meetings debating about what each senator felt would serve students best. Of course, I won’t ever forget cramming for those terrifying engineering finals believing there was no possible way to get everything done. I will dearly miss lying in my bunk bed in my sorority chatting non-stop for hours with my sisters despite knowing that I desperately needed sleep. I’ll remember these dear friends who were always available to share news with, whether happy or sad, and how they all became my surrogate family while away from home. I’ll never forget ripping down the goalposts after winning the Mizzou football game or watching KU go to two Final Fours and feeling so sad when they didn’t win the championship. Mostly, I will remember the University as a whole and all of the opportunities and gifts that KU has provided me from its incredibly rich academic environment to the availability of a wide array of activities and opportunities in which to become involved, and the many new friendships made that I will retain for life.
What is your definition of success?
To me, being successful will mean having a stimulating career which challenges intellectual and creative abilities, being part of a loving family able to help my children pursue their interests and activities, and accomplishing something that will leave the world a little better place than I found it.
The Emily Taylor