PSWE Member Takes National Prize in Stilettos to Steel Toes Essay Contest

Rebecca Krause, National Winner

Thanks to everyone who wrote essays for the Stilettos to Steel Toes essay contest sponsored by Schlumberger…we raised $13,700 for PSWE! An extra-special round of applause to Rebecca Krause for winning the national contest! Check out all the PSWE winners below 🙂

Allie Sexton

3rd Place:  Allie Sexton

Allie is a senior in Construction Engineering and Management. She received a $250 scholarship.

2nd Place:  Christina Verhoff

Christina is a junior in Mechanical Engineering. She received a $500 scholarship. (no picture available)

Rebecca Krause

1st place (in PSWE and Nationally!):  Rebecca Krause

Rebecca is a senior in Computer Engineering. She received a $2000 scholarship and a free trip to the SWE national conference in Baltimore. Check out her national grand prize winning essay below!

Shiver me timbers, I’m completely insane!  Better to just admit it right now: I am flat out barking mad.  You see, while my sensible engineering brethren respond to the task of public speaking with dread (and potentially calls of “Batten down the hatches! All hands on deck!”), I can’t get enough of it.  So much so that I am drawn to the unusual pursuit of combining engineering and education.  I thrive on mass verbal communication; I breathe it right in like salty sea air.  Now if that doesn’t kick-start me in an unusual direction, I don’t know what will.  But what could explain this affliction of the mind, this love of the verbal in a world of the numerical?  A chemical imbalance?   Too much alphabet soup, not enough apple pi?  Or maybe… it’s because I’m a pirate.
Aye aye: I’m captain of a pirate ship.  Let me explain, for I fear my insanity seems more apparent now than ever.  I am the captain of a pirate-themed improvisational comedy troupe called “The Ship of Fools”, and it is this fact which drives my somewhat strange desire to pursue academia.  At first glance it may seem that improvisation is simply a bunch of performers lacking in shame… and it is. But that isn’t the whole picture.  Improvisational performance is like the most wonderful school lecture you can imagine, where the lessons are made up on the spot and the teachers learn as much as the students.  You need to make the audience care and laugh using nothing but words, and when it happens, it’s pure magic.  And why shouldn’t school lectures be just the same (albeit with more technical material)? That’s my mission.
So while many of my friends would rather “walk the plank” than stare an audience in the eyes, I see myself at the helm of a classroom more and more each day.  Even among my academic peers, my ridiculous nature and zest for the absurd is sure to set me apart.  So “avast ye”, future students, because this “landlubber” is destined to be one “scalawag” of a professor!

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