Fulbright Award Recipient and Graduate Inspires Women in Engineering Group

Chloe in front of students

Just before leaving for England to take part in the Fulbright Fellowship, 2014 Hilliard Davidson graduate Chloe Shevlin took the time to speak to the school’s Women in Engineering (WIE) group.

“When Mr. Kuch asked me to speak to the Women in Engineering class, I was humbled,” said Shevlin. “The WIE class did not exist when I was there, and it is an absolutely amazing program for helping girls start thinking about pursuing an engineering/STEM career.

“I mainly talked about the fact that it was not easy to be a female in a male-dominated field. It wasn’t easy, but 110% worth it!”  Shevlin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration in Health Systems Engineering at North Carolina State in 2018.

“Not only did I find my passion for improving healthcare at NC State, but I also found my passion for fitness and fitness programming,” she said. “During my undergrad experience, I was able to study engineering in Wales, complete an internship at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and make connections at Duke University Health System.”

Shevlin first applied for the Fulbright Award in August of 2017 and, after some perseverance, finally received the award this past spring. She moved to the University of Leicester and is beginning her work there this fall.  “I will be studying with doctors from around the world about improving our healthcare systems,” she explained. “I am the first engineer in the program, as it has only accepted medical doctors to date.”

Fulbright offers full tuition coverage and a living stipend. That’s what made her chance to speak with students at Davidson important. She took part in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) while in high school and the Intro to Engineering Design (IED) classes and learned quickly that most engineering students are males.

“If I’m being totally honest, I walked into that (IED) classroom and walked right back out to my guidance counselor’s office to ask to be switched out,” Shevlin said. “The classroom was full of upperclassman boys, and I felt so out of place. Luckily my guidance counselor (Mr. Cadwallader), my mom, and Mr. Kuch convinced me to give it a chance.”

She told the students in the WIE class about her experience from that time in high school until now.  “I mainly talked about the fact that it is not easy to be a female in a male-dominated field,” Shevlin explained. “It’s not easy, but completely worth it.  I also talked about how it’s OK to not know what the next step is. I think society often makes us feel that we have to know what our next step is going to be, but the crazy turns that we are not expecting can be the most rewarding.”