November 03, 2022

Since the passing of Title IX legislation 50 years ago, which guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, the number of women in Engineering has increased, but is not yet on par with men. 

Century College Engineering faculty member Dr. Megan Jaunich loves the field, and knows the importance of supporting women in education.

When she was a PhD student at North Carolina State, the school had a mission to include representation of women in the Civil Engineering department. “They held a special recruiting event which targeted prospective female students, and that really helped me make my decision to go there,” Megan says. “And in later years, I volunteered to facilitate that event, and help bring more women into our field.”

Having a strong support system is critical in the success of a woman’s career.  “My parents were big proponents of education, and encouraged my sisters and me to go as far as we could – one is now a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and one is an attorney,” Megan remembers. “My mother was a nurse, and might have been a doctor, if she had been born in a different era or had gotten more support along the way.”

Megan holds 4 degrees (BS, MS both in Mechanical Engineering, an MEng degree in Systems Engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering). Prior to coming to the Engineering Department at Century College, Megan worked as a NASA contractor for 4 years.

For Megan, the best part of teaching at Century College is being in the classroom with her students, especially after the beginning of the pandemic. “I have really engaged classes and students.  It feels more normal on campus this year.”

And Megan offers the following advice for women who want to go into engineering: “There are great opportunities in the field, and so much funding is available via scholarships, fellowships and grants–especially if you want to get that higher degree.  Help is available.  For example, I was able to get funding for 90% of my degree(s).”

“Be sure to look for ways to benefit both you and your company.  I was able to spend work hours on my degree as part of my professional development”

“Also, find a good mentor.  I’ve been working with and mentoring students through the PRISM Scholarship.” 

Megan also encourages students to join Century College’s Engineering Club or Women in STEM Club.

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