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Andrea Falasco (SWE-WI) and Anne Maher (SWE-MN) receive the Michigan Technological University Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Two SWE women will be awarded the Michigan Technological University Outstanding Young Alumni award, Andrea (Walvatne) Falasco and Anne Dancy Maher. Both Andrea and Anne have a great deal in common – starting with being in the same Residence Hall, living just down the hall from another as first-year students. They were both active in the Michigan Tech SWE Section and graduated in 2012 with Andrea earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Anne receiving a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Anne continued her involvement in SWE and is active in SWE in Minnesota. For more information, see: www.mtu.edu/alumni/recognition/awards/young/

Andrea also continued to be involved in SWE through the Wisconsin Professional Section. As her SWE Section advisor at Tech, I saw Andrea’s commitment to the organization through her participation in various section events. I was thrilled when she was our Vice President for Collegiates. And that was just the start of her SWE professional involvement. She has gone on to serve the SWE-WI professional section in many roles ranging from President to organizing the Spring Forward Professional Day. Whether it was working for Kohler, Oshkosh Defense or Kimberly-Clark, Andrea has improved manufacturing processes, and has made creating an inclusive work environment for everyone a priority. She recently visited Tech and spoke with the section about transitioning from student to engineer, providing advice on all the challenges associated with being a professional woman with a career and growing family. This included dealing with challenging work situations, pursuing a graduate degree while working, juggling careers with her spouse, and managing her career and family priorities, all while growing as a person. 

Andrea is honored to receive this award and stated, “I am so honored to win this award. It is very special for me to be recognized by Michigan Tech where I have so many great memories and experiences and that I have continued their work into my career and SWE contributions. I joined SWE my freshman year at MTU and it gave me a good representation of what I could do in SWE later and I have become much more involved as a professional with the Wisconsin section.”

Gretchen Hein, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Associate Teaching Professor and SWE Section Advisor, retired, at Michigan Tech stated, “As someone who has watched Andrea grow and mature throughout her time at Tech, and then as she grew into her career and family life, I am impressed with her commitment to making life better for everyone. I was honored to nominate her for this award and was so excited to hear that she received the Michigan Tech Outstanding Young Alumni award.”

Authors: Gretchen Hein, Past SWE Section Advisor and Jaclyn Johnson, SWE Section Advisor at Michigan Tech