Liz Manning '16

Name: Liz Manning

Year: 2016

Hometown: Marion, Massachusetts

Major/Minor: Civil Engineering

Campus Involvement: Engineers Without Borders (EWB), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


How did you become involved in Engineers Without Borders?

I found out that EWB was an organization when I was doing college tours when I was applying to colleges, and the background for why EWB exists...that reasoning was why I wanted to be an engineer in the first place. Ever since I found out I've been super invested in becoming a part of it. As soon as I got to GW I joined and I've been involved ever since.


Why did you want to become an engineer?

When I was a junior in high school wanting to know what I wanted to do with my life and decide on a college major, I knew that I wanted to do something to help people in some way. I like math and physics, then I was thinking about it and I thought, "Well, I could do engineering and develop underdeveloped countries and improve the quality of life there." That was kind of my reasoning to say, "Oh, engineering then."


Do you have a favorite memory from EWB, or the Engineering school in general?

I've gone on two trips to El Salvador. It's been really, really fun, and both of those trips have been extremely memorable and probably two of the greatest experiences I've had. But most recently, on our past trip in January, it was really exciting because we only have three more compost latrines to do before everyone in La Peña has a facility to use.


What is something that most people don't know about being an engineer at GW?

I'd say there's a really strong community. The classes are pretty small so you know literally everyone in every single one of your classes and you form a lot of friendships that way.


What are your long-term career goals?

I'll try to work construction, which is what a lot of civil engineers do, and hopefully go into the Peace Corps. And then after both of those experiences, the ideal would be to open up my own engineering firm that does projects in underdeveloped countries.


Do you have any advice for anyone, particularly women, who are interested in becoming engineers?

I think that if engineering even seems like it might peak their interest, they should definitely pursue it, at least for a semester or two, because I really had no idea what engineering held. I just joined because I thought, "Oh, this sounds like something I'm going to want to do in my future. It matches with goals that I might want to have." So I joined and I really love the civil engineering curriculum, I think it's really interesting.