BUILDING WHILE BREAKING BARRIERS

Picture this: A young woman pursuing a career in the male-dominated engineering field, who knows what she wants and is willing to work hard to get it.

Say hello to Alexis Watson, a true trailblazer with big dreams and an even bigger drive.

Walking into classes where some heads turn to check if she’s lost, Watson doesn’t flinch. Instead, she rebuffs doubters and naysayers. 

“Just because I’m a female doesn’t mean I’m incompetent,” said Watson, a mechanical engineering student in the College of Applied & Technical Studies (CATS). “It makes me feel very strong.”

Watson’s journey started while she was still in high school, thanks to the College Credit Plus (CCP) program. Choosing Kent State University at Tuscarawas and the Regional Campus System was an easy decision for her, she said. The opportunity to take classes online and at other campuses offer her flexibility as she works toward completing her bachelor’s degree.

“I’m more devoted to going to college to learn (versus) having the dorm-room experience at another college,” she said. 

Remaining close to home played a significant role in her decision, too.

“I’m living on my own and it’s really important to live close to my family and close to my support system,” explained Watson. “Many times, they’re right here to help me. It’s good to go home and be in an encouraging and welcoming environment where they’re willing to help me.”

Money matters, and Watson’s no stranger to hard work. Since she is working her way through college, affordability, scholarship and student-employment opportunities are key. Juggling her full-time studies, Watson works 28 hours a week in the engineering department at the Tuscarawas Campus, along with an additional part-time job. 

How does she do it all?

“A lot of time management skills!” she said. “I’m just very set on what I want and trying to do everything I can to get there.”

After all, Watson isn’t just a student — she’s a game-changer and an inspiration wrapped in determination. Her story isn’t just about smashing stereotypes; it’s about turning skeptics into fans… and dreams? Well, they’re meant to be lived.

As she forges ahead on her journey to become a mechanical engineer, Watson’s not just building machines — she’s crafting a new norm. 

POSTED: Tuesday, February 6, 2024 09:49 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2024 10:07 AM
WRITTEN BY:
Kent State University Regional Campuses