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A new poll on climate change shows some in North Dakota are yet to be convinced; indicted FBI informant central to GOP Biden probe rearrested; and mortgage scams can leave victims clueless and homeless.

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Donald Trump wins the South Carolina primary, but there's mixed feelings about what a second Trump term could mean and President Biden addresses border issues with governors.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

First-Year ASU Student Helps Close Engineering Gender Gap

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023   

The percentage of female engineers varies by specialty, but 2021 figures show only 9% of mechanical engineers are women. One Arizona State University student is working to change it.

Claire Gunderson just started her first year at the university studying mechanical engineering. She said her passion for the field started by helping her dad with his cars in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. And while she is disappointed to see a lack of diversity in the field, Gunderson emphasized she is optimistic about the future.

"I guess it is a little sad that more women aren't involved in engineering," Gunderson acknowledged. "It just inspires me to pursue what I want to do and make connections with everybody around me, no matter if they're male or female or whatever."

Arizona State University awarded bachelor degrees in engineering to 460 women in 2021. Gunderson is also a National Indigenous Recognition Scholar. She graduated from high school with top academic standing. Only 8% of ACT-tested American Indian and Alaska Native high school graduates meet college readiness and STEM benchmarks, according to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

During her time at the university, Gunderson noted she hopes to become a member of the Formula SAE Club, which each year sets out to build a formula-style race car to compete at an annual Formula Student competition in Michigan. She added she's eager to see the process of building a prototype. For anyone considering the engineering field, Gunderson recommended taking time to explore your options and find the best fit.

"If you are really into figuring stuff out and all that, that would be something in engineering that you'll be able to find," Gunderson explained. "Whether it's, like, mechanical, electrical, aerospace, anything like that. I just think it's really fun."

Gunderson and more than 144,000 other Sun Devils have begun their degree programs this fall at Arizona State University campuses or online, the largest student enrollment in the university's history.


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