Student Profile - Tamara Frydson

Chemical engineering is passion for Tamara Frydson

Being far from home in Ecuador is anything but easy for junior chemical engineering major Tamara Frydson, but with her involvement in campus organizations, love forTamara Frydson works in an engineering lab chemical engineering and close relationships with professors, she believes she has found a family at Lamar University.

For Frydson chemical engineering is a passion.  She loves science, critical thinking and problem solving and enjoys the processing and manufacturing of products.  “I am allergic to everything, including certain lotions, soaps and perfumes. I decided I wanted to be a chemical engineer because I was interested in how just certain components can make a big change in the products and cause no harm in my skin,” said Frydson.

 Living on her own has been a difficult journey for Frydson, but worth the obstacles.  “It has helped me develop independence, which I like, and I have met people to help me adjust,” said Frydson. “These two years I have grown not only in knowledge but in personality. Lamar has permitted me to become an independent and successful woman.” She met a few of her friends through the Newman Catholic Center at Lamar. The easy access to religious centers is one advantage Lamar offers that she would not have at a university in Ecuador.

“Back home in high school I set myself the goal of earning my bachelor’s degree in an American university,” said Frydson. That goal became achievable when representatives from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, came to Frydson’s high school to give students the chance to apply for scholarships in the U.S. Frydson liked what Lamar University offered. “Lamar has a great chemical engineering program, and weather played a part in my decision as well,” said Frydson.

Frydson’s dreams led her to choose an environmental career path.  “I am really interested in preserving the environment, so a job allowing me to produce products for the community and also make them safe for the environment would be fascinating,” she said. She assisted Tracy Benson, assistant professor of chemical engineering, with his research on a more efficient way to produce biodiesel, which led to Benson helping her gain an internship over the summer in Ecuador processing fruit to make baby food. 

“The education you obtain here is not only theoretical but practical as well. They truly prepare you for reality,” said Frydson. “My ideal job is one that permits me to be highly efficient, enthusiastic and inspiring for others.”

She has also worked as a student assistant in the chemical engineering department and is currently a math tutor and student assistant for organic chemistry laboratory classes, where she supervises students and helps with questions.

Frydson’s involvement in organizations has also led her to gain experience for her career. She is involved in Society for Women Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Lamar Honors Program. The most influential organization that has provided Frydson with practical experience is Lamar’s Engineers Without Borders, where she serves as secretary. This organization helps underprivileged communities around the world. “Engineers Without Borders has helped me with volunteering and applying engineering knowledge as well as making long lasting friendships,” she said.

The organization is planning to construct restrooms for the Chunox high school in Belize. In summer 2010, she traveled to Belize with the group to start assessment of the project.  Frydson learned technical skills of how to start the project as well as how to interact with the high school board and community. This experience has enabled her to put everything she has learned at Lamar to use.

“I would describe myself as a determined, patient, honest, hardworking person,” said Frydson. “I set goals for myself and do my best to accomplish them.”