For Valentine’s Day, SWE members are recognizing their husbands and other loved ones for all of the support they give to help women engineers succeed. If you have a supportive significant other, please tell us all about it using the hashtag #VDay2017 and tag us @SWEtalk.
By Alyse Stofer
Kevin and I started dating at the end of our senior year of high school. This is an uncommon time to start a new relationship, especially when we were set to attend college over 500 miles apart (at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA). Through the ups and downs of a long distance relationship, Kevin was supportive of my engineering studies and SWE involvement. I joined SWE my sophomore year at the University of Iowa, and dove into outreach activities. I became a SWE leader when I transitioned to a professional member with the Minnesota section.
As my engineering career and involvement in SWE progressed, Kevin continued to support me and our children, as well as his high school math students. For example, since my son (age 11) and daughter (age 9) were born, Kevin has dropped the kids off at daycare, and now school every day of the week. This has allowed me to “sneak out” of the house early to get a jump start on the day and avoid busy rush hour traffic. He has served as both dad and mom when I travel for work and SWE, and always makes sure homework is done and kids are on time to their activities. Without his constant help and support, I would not have been able to serve as the FY13 SWE President or continue to advance in my career.
First as a junior high math teacher, and for the past eight years as a high school math teacher, I continue to be impressed by how Kevin brings math to life for his students. In junior high, it was math jeopardy and building mini-golf courses to study geometric relationships, and today it is designing and conducting experiments to study AP Statistics and Calculus. In addition to making math fun, Kevin highlights STEM careers in his classroom and encourages his high potential female students to join SWE and have conversations with me and local female engineers.
I am fortunate to have chosen a partner that is supportive of me and my career (and SWE) aspirations, as well as a dedicated father. With two busy kids, together we divide and conquer home and parenting tasks every day.