CALLIE LISSINNA, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
What is your program of study? What made you want to study in this field?
I'm a second year Mechanical Engineering Co-op student. I became interested in Mec E after being placed in a mechanical biomedical engineering lab in the WISEST Summer Research Program and I haven't looked back since.
What are some rewarding involvements you’ve been part of over your post-secondary career?
Over the past year and a half AlbertaSat has gradually become a big part of my life. AlbertaSat is an engineering student project group that designs, builds, and launches cube satellites. The group's long-term goal is to grow a space industry in Alberta. One of my past responsibilities in AlbertaSat that I really enjoyed was visiting elementary schools and summer science camps to give educational sessions about space science and exploration. It's so rewarding to see young kids get excited and curious about what you do; to see the same spark of fascination in them as the one that you feel. My current role in AlbertaSat is Mechanical Team Lead, so I'm now responsible for all mechanical engineering aspects of our upcoming satellite. This involves lots of working with computers and communicating with the other team leads.
Additionally, I teach several ballet classes each week to students ages 3-16. I also taught bi-weekly course-review sessions for ENGG 130 (a first-year engineering statics course) this past fall semester through the Engineering Student Society's PASS (Peer Assisted Study Session) program.
What have these experiences taught you?
AlbertaSat has taught me the impact that good mentors and role models can have on the decisions you make. I'm constantly inspired to work harder and stick to my passion for space engineering just because I'm surrounded by older students who share that passion and have incredible work ethic. Seeing what an impact the mentors from AlbertaSat had on my life is part of what drove me to volunteer as a mentor with the UA-WiSE High School Outreach Program. Teaching ballet has also shown me some of the benefits of staying well-rounded even while you're busy. I find it to be a great way to de-stress!
What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing your field of study?
I'd strongly encourage people interested in my field to get involved with a STEM-related project outside of their classes. Cool extracurricular activities stoke your natural curiosity. You'll learn and retain information much more efficiently if you feel naturally compelled to learn it. In my life, AlbertaSat plays this role of getting me excited about what I'm learning. Even though it may seem counterintuitive because extracurriculars take time out of your schedule that you could be using for schoolwork, they will greatly enhance your educational experience and help you learn more.