Three team members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, visited Woodville-Tompkins Institute for the Society of Women Engineers’ 11th annual Girls Engineer It Day Expo Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023.
The Savannah District trio, Samantha Holtzinger, physical scientist; Courtney Messer, civil engineer project manager; and Sade Trammell, civil engineer project manager, were among approximately 25 other organizations who had representatives at their company informational booth. The event took place in the gymnasium, and 200-plus elementary through high school girls from Vidalia and Chatham County School districts attended. As the students came by to ask questions, the three ladies talked about their jobs, and the many jobs available in the Corps of Engineers.
“It’s important to have female engineers here at this event,” said Messer to Corey McMillian and his daughter, Kira. “We want to let young girls, like your daughter, know the Corps of Engineers is a great place to work and expand their interests in engineering or the many other career paths within the Corps. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.”
Kira, who is 12 years old, said she likes to draw and create things so she’d like to find a job she could use her talents in.
“My daughter is very talented and I’m proud of her skills,” said McMillian. “We came here today so I could show Kira there are options and opportunities available to her. I just want her to broaden her vision of the future and find ways to use her skills.”
Eleven-year-old LaDessa said she likes math, and she really wants to do something that will help the environment.
“My daughter has voiced an interest in engineering,” said Vanessa Doby, LaDessa’s mother. “I think this event is a great way for her to see the many different options available to her and to learn more about what is happening in the engineering world.”
The Expo was established to educate students as they discover the future through technology, by making engineering fun and encouraging young women to shine in STEM classes, and to explore opportunities in the traditionally male-dominated fields, according to the website.
“We want the students and parents to get excited about GEID,” said Whitney Holt, Girls Engineer It Day website and sponsorship coordinator. “We want them to find out what is available to them locally, should they pursue a technical career.”
The Society of Women Engineers was founded in 1950, and according to the website, it is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. The website states, [the Society of Women Engineers] “empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.”