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Dayton Engineer

Bridget Gerber and Jayne Haubner

Sophomore Engineering Students Awarded Full Scholarships for Junior and Senior Year through the Women Engineering Program and Clare Boothe Luce Program

By Keelin Kelly '24

Two mechanical engineering students were awarded full scholarships for their junior and senior years through the the Clare Boothe Luce Program (CBL), which are dedicated to increasing the participation of women in engineering in higher education. The CBL program is run jointly by the University Honors Program (UHP) and the Women in Science and Engineering Living Learning Community (WISE LLC) and is supported by the Women Engineering Program (WEP).

Both students belonged to the WISE LLC their freshman year and continued their involvement in WISE through the mentoring program their sophomore year. As CBL scholars, they will now take part in planning and leading monthly WISE LLC and mentoring programming among other leadership, service and personal development opportunities. 

Bridget Gerber

Bridget Gerber

After attending the Women Engineering Program Overnight as an admitted student, Gerber, from Woodbury, Minnesota, fell in love with the community at UD. 

“I just liked the community here,” Gerber said. “I liked that I would have the WISE floor to live on freshman year, giving me a smaller place on campus where I could belong."

As a senior in high school, Gerber participated in a women in orthopedic surgery and engineering day. This, along with her interest in anatomy class, drove her to pursue a mechanical engineering degree with a minor in human movement biomechanics because it allowed her to combine her interests in business, engineering and the human body. 

This semester, Gerber completed a lean quality co-op at Parker Hannifin, and she will return to Medtronic for a medical device manufacturing internship this summer. She also works on biomechanics research in the Engineering Wellness through Biomechanics lab with Dr. Kim Bigelow, who was one of her biggest supporters in applying for the CBL scholarship. 

“I was interested in being more involved in WISE and being a leader in that setting because I had already seen the big impact it had on me,” Gerber said. “Based on encouragement from professors and others to apply, as well as an appreciation for student leaders in WISE, I took a more serious look at the opportunity.”

Gerber also named graduate student Camryn Justice, who leads the WISE mentoring program and CBL scholar cohort, as a role model. 

“I liked the group that was leading the cohort, and I knew Camryn did a really good job. I was inspired by how she has opened up about her personal experiences and led the group,” Gerber said.

As she looks forward to increasing her involvement in WISE, Gerber is also excited for the leadership and personal development opportunities that being a CBL scholar has to offer.

“I am excited to not only attend future events, but to also have a say in the activities we plan and expand the program,” Gerber said. “I think it will be really fun to see how I can open up and grow from it too.”

In addition to her involvement with WISE and Society of Women Engineers (SWE), she is also a member of UD’s Irish Dance Club. The team recently traveled to New Rochelle, New York to compete at the 2024 Collegiate Irish Dance Nationals and won first place in the fun number competition. 

Jayne Haubner

Jayne Haubner

Unsure of what she wanted to major in as a senior in high school, Haubner, from Liberty Township, Ohio, applied to each college she was interested in with a different major before deciding to come to UD.

“I applied to all kinds of majors, from anthropology to history to engineering, which is what I applied with here,” Haubner said. “When I toured UD, it just seemed like the place to be. I really liked that it felt like a place where I could be friends with my peers–where we could be friends more than just classmates”

When Haubner committed to UD, she was still on the fence about engineering, but her mother, who is a chemical engineer, encouraged her to stick with it.

“My mom always told me I would make a good engineer because of the way my brain works, and as I grew up, that started to make more sense to me,” Haubner said. “She said there are a lot of different places that need engineers, so the flexibility of the field was a big appeal for me.”

Haubner selected mechanical engineering because she felt it left her open to the most opportunities in her future career. This summer, she will have her first internship with Procter and Gamble doing research and development for liquid laundry detergent packaging. 

“I like the human aspect of everyday things that still need innovation to get better and better,” she said. 

After acting as treasurer of SWE last year, Haubner was elected vice president. She is also the student assistant director for WEP and a member of UD’s club gymnastics team. Her involvement in these organizations allowed her to meet her close friend and mentor, Jean Nash. 

“Jean is the kind of person I aspire to be. She won Outstanding Junior Mechanical Engineering student in 2023 and continues to do amazing things in and outside of the UD community,” Haubner said. “I’m so excited for her to continue to do great things. She has definitely been my most influential mentor in my time here at UD.”

As a new CBL scholar, Haubner is excited to join the CBL scholar cohort and see the WISE program continue to grow and improve. 

“Camryn will be running the program for the second year in a row, which is allowing her to make a lot more decisions that best reflect the program,” Haubner said. “I’m excited to see the program become more inviting to even more students outside of engineering.”

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