Writer: Lorena Sánchez
Engineering graduate student, Dorothy Lanphere was one of the recipients of the Mike Watts Outstanding Leadership Graduate Fellowship for the spring 2010 semester.
The fellowship is awarded to graduate students who demonstrate high academic standing and leadership qualities. She was nominated for the award by Edward Pines, department head for the industrial engineering, who felt she embodied each of these qualities.
“She represents the spirit of the award,” Pines said.
He added that her founding of NMSU’s Engineers without Borders organization made her deserving of a fellowship that’s purpose is fund the education of students with a desire to use their education to help those who are less fortunate.
When Lanphere was notified that she had received the fellowship she was ecstatic.
“This is a very prestigious award and I am so honored to have received it,” she said. Lanphere was one of 10 students who received the one time fellowship worth $2,000 and is planning on putting it to good use. “Last semester, I was struggling to pay tuition and other bills. I had two other scholarships but was still short $800. Now, I can devote my extra time to studying and doing things for Engineers without Borders instead of working extra hours,” she said.
Currently, Lanphere is working towards receiving a master’s degree in electrical engineering and part of the Electric Utility Management Program. Her interest in engineering began in high school working summers with her father doing electrical work.
“I was really interested in electricity and liked doing this kind of work but I hated the physical labor, it was too intense. I knew that if I became an engineer I would get to work with the same kind of stuff but I wouldn’t have to break my back doing it,” she said.
In the future Lanphere said that she would like to work for an electric utility or a consulting engineering firm and help to implement renewable energy technologies into the current and developing infrastructure.
In May 2009, Lanphere graduated with her bachelor’s degree in engineering technology with a concentration in renewable energy from New Mexico State University. She was also named the Alumni Association’s spring 2009 Outstanding Senior in the College of Engineering.
In spring 2007 she founded the NMSU Chapter of Engineers without Borders. The organization is focused on implementing sustainable engineering projects that benefit underdeveloped communities.
“In this group, students select, design, fund, and construct projects. Since founding it, I have presided over the group. Under my presidency, NMSU Engineers without Borders raised over $6000, we inducted and retained around 20 active members and we designed and built a ford bridge in Las Boquillas, Chihuahua, Mexico,” she explained.