During the admission process, I learned that one of the goals of Olin’s inaugural class was 50/50 gender balance — a far cry from the typical lopsided male/female ratio that holds true nationwide. I thought it was amazing that I was admitted alongside all the other qualified, smart, diverse people, including wom­en, for the chance of a lifetime: to be part of the college’s first-ever class and on a full-tuition scholarship worth $160,000.

Some 11 years later, I am now pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder in mechanical engineering. I consider myself extremely lucky to have graduated with a degree with zero debt, so I can now take my next steps in my education. The freedom I experienced without student loan payments was tremendous; it allowed me to make choices I wanted to make without any financial worries or burdens hanging over my head.

But I’m interested in more than just pursuing a graduate degree. My time at Olin opened my eyes to see parts of engineering culture that had never been explicit before, including how someone’s gender affects engineering education. It inspired me to study this unique culture and conduct research similar to that being done at Olin. I credit Olin with helping me realize that I can be an engineer while making a difference in the field itself.” 

- Janet Tsai '06