Engineering student wins SWCA scholarship
Lamar University chemical engineering student Sarah Paine has received a prestigious scholarship sponsored by the Southwest Chemical Association (SWCA). She will receive this award on August 8 at the SWCA Scholarship Luncheon. The SWCA provides scholarships annually to outstanding undergraduate chemical engineering students attending schools in the gulf-southwest region. Students entering their junior or senior years are nominated by their school faculty.
“When I received the news that I had gotten the scholarship, I was thrilled to not have to worry about the extra expenses in my last year,” Paine said.
The SWCA seeks to identify and honor individuals who demonstrate that they are valuable to their organizations, to the community, and to society as a whole. The selection criteria are based on leadership, experience, ambition, team skills, and extracurricular activities.
Paine graduated valedictorian from Vidor High School in 2009, after which she completed an internship with NASA before continuing her education at Lamar. Paine is a member of the honors program and is very active in the chemical engineering department. She is the secretary and treasurer of the Lamar chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In addition, she is the treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers, having previously served as vice president for two years and president for one year. Paine is also involved with the co-op program. During her time at Lamar, she has completed three internships with ExxonMobil, working at the Beaumont Polyethylene Plant, the Beaumont Chemical Plant, and Chalmette Refinery.
“As far as my career is concerned, I’m open to locations and job positions because if the co-op program has taught me anything it’s that the industry is challenging but rewarding,” Paine said.
Paine is also active in her community and with education programs. She was instrumental in beginning Lamar’s Discover Engineering event, and she organized Lamar’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, sponsored by ExxonMobil. In addition, she works with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) outreach programs and with Junior Achievement USA, a program that teaches children about economics.
“Regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, a child’s eyes light up when they build a circuit or control a chemical reaction,” Paine said. “It’s amazing how easy it is to empower them and I want to help wherever I can.”