The Missouri University of Science and Technology Alumna and Woman Student of the Year Committee announced its 2013 award winners during a ceremony held on campus Oct. 17. The awards are given to alumnae and women students who are dedicated to advancing the lives of women and committed to diversity.
Natalie L. Dixon of Waco, Texas, principal structural engineer for the Platform Integration Division of L-3 Communications, an aircraft modification facility, received the 2013 Missouri S&T Alumna of the Year Gold Award. Dixon earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in aerospace engineering from Missouri S&T in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Dixon has earned five achievement awards from L-3 and has been a member of four teams that received the company’s highest accolade, the Tribute to Excellence.
Mariana Rodriguez Risco, president and CEO of Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, the University of Applied Sciences in Lima, Peru, received the 2013 Missouri S&T Alumna of the Year Silver Award. Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1980, helped found two universities and two technical institutes in Peru. In 2011 Missouri S&T honored her as one of its Alumni of Influence.
Dr. Petra DeWitt of Rolla, assistant teaching professor of history and political science at Missouri S&T, received the 2013 Missouri S&T Alumna of the Year Bronze Award. DeWitt earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Missouri S&T in 1996. A member of the S&T faculty since 2003, DeWitt has received five Outstanding Teaching Awards and two Faculty Excellence Awards. She was nominated seven times for the Freshman Engineering students’ “We Love Your Class” award and won the award three times.
Ashley Koesterer, a junior in economics and business and management systems from St. Louis, received the 2013 Woman Student of the Year Gold Award. Koesterer is president of the Missouri S&T Student Council. She was a founding member of Women as Leaders and has served as president, vice president and treasurer of the organization. Koesterer, who is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, holds a parallel co-op position as marketing assistant in career opportunities and employer relations at Missouri S&T.
Andrea Brockmann, a senior in psychology from Beaufort, Mo., received the 2013 Woman Student of the Year Silver Award. Brockmann has studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea, served as a Student Ambassador to Australia and traveled to New Jersey to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. She holds leadership positions in Psi Chi and the Pre-Engineering Club and is the lead research assistant on a project to study student expectations led by Dr. Amber Henslee, assistant professor of psychological science. Brockmann also works for Pathways Community Mental Health Center, where she helps adolescents recovering from substance-abuse problems.
Kathryn Hendricks, a senior in engineering management from Shawnee, Kan., received the 2013 Woman Student of the Year Bronze Award. Hendricks serves in the Army ROTC, where she held the positions of battalion cadet command sergeant major and color guard sergeant. She served as president and vice president of the Society of American Military Engineers and is a department ambassador for engineering management and systems engineering, serving as a mentor to new students in the department. She is a member of Epsilon Mu Eta, Tau Beta Pi and Kappa Mu Epsilon and performs undergraduate research on a Veterans Health Administration healthcare improvement project with Dr. Elizabeth Cudney, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering.
The Alumna and Woman Student of the Year Award endowment was created by three named female professors at Missouri S&T: Dr. Mariesa Crow, F. Finley Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering; Dr. Dee Haemmerlie Montgomery, Curator’s Teaching Professor of psychology; and the late Dr. Ann Miller, former Cynthia Tang Missouri Distinguished Professor of Computer Science.