This month's SWE Scholar post features Rochelle Perry, a SWE Member involved in a fatal accident in 2011. A Society Scholarship has been named in her honor. We're remembering Rochelle in this blog post with memories from her family and friends:
“I remember a conversation we had early in Rochelle's decision to go into engineering. Her mother asked Rochelle why engineering? We knew Rochelle's love for children and her Mother told Rochelle she thought she would become a pediatrician to help children. Rochelle's response to her mother was, Mom I could become an engineer and help everyone.” -David Perry, Rochelle's Father.
“Rochelle and I spent almost everyday together for 5 years during our time at RIT. Her passion for engineering was contagious, in fact if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have a Masters in Engineering Management (thanks, Roch!) She gave 110% in every endeavor; classes, projects, volunteering, work and somehow making time for fun. It was impressive.
Rochelle is one of the smartest, most motivated, and influential friends that I have had the pleasure to know. Taking advantage of the scholarship in her name is such a powerful thing, knowing it would mean so much to her. No one is a perfect student, we certainty tried to be, but were not -- everyone should have a chance to chase their dream.” -Andi, Rochelle's friend from RIT.
“Rochelle and I were involved in SWE together at RIT. She was section treasurer the same year I was section president. What I remember about Rochelle is her drive, ambition, and friendly nature. She was always on the go, and I don't know how she fit it all in, but she always excelled at everything she did. After I graduated, she would reach out to me to ask questions about school and SWE, and it makes me feel good that someone as awesome as Rochelle could have used my help every once in a while. I hope future recipients of Rochelle's scholarship hold the same personal commitment to their education and their personal and professional development. Scholarships like these make it possible for more women to achieve their dreams, just like Rochelle.” -Christine Stahlecker. Christine and Rochelle were on SWE RIT's Board and they were both industrial engineering majors at RIT.
“I knew Rochelle through SWE at RIT. She was one of the hardest working people I have ever met. She took on challenges and volunteer opportunities with enthusiasm. I remember her often running from volunteer opportunities and activities, to class, to finishing homework, to spending time with friends. Her passion and dedication were contagious. She single-handedly grew our SWE section with her enthusiasm, encouraging her friends to come along for events or volunteer for outreach activities. I was pretty sure she knew every person in the engineering college too because she was always volunteering with activities in all the different engineering organizations. I hope Rochelle's scholarship gives other students the opportunity to spend time volunteering — and giving back to the engineering community.” -Amanda Weissman, Rochelle's SWE friend at RIT.
“I remember Rochelle as a dedicated student, who was greatly involved with many organizations to try to improve people’s situations. My personal interactions with her were due to the fact that I was a professor in two classes she took. Rochelle had a great sense of humor, and was able to see the absurdity of certain situations. Her dedication to improving the lives of others was amazing, and she was always helping out at different organizations such as RIT-SWE (to help provide a community for women engineers), Foodlink (a food bank in Rochester, NY) as well as numerous other organizations.” -Marca J. Lam, Rochelle's Professor from RIT.
Rochelle Nicolette Perry graduated from Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School in 2005 and Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Industrial Engineering in 2010. Upon graduating, she moved to Waterloo, Iowa, where she worked as an engineer for the John Deere Corporation.
In March of 2011, Rochelle was involved in a tragic accident.
Rochelle was extremely devoted to her community and friends. She taught Junior Achievement classes to Grade school children, volunteered at the food bank, and was an active member of the Jaycees.
Rochelle also was a valuable member of SWE. Her commitment to the organization was extraordinary both as a student and professional, and she was a founding member of the Cedar Valley Professional Section (Region H). Rochelle enjoyed sharing her passion for engineering and technology with the community. Her drive allowed her to do so much for other people. She impacted many lives and set a wonderful example of generosity and community involvement. Rochelle’s dedication to her community is to be the example to follow for candidates of this scholarship.