As I mentioned before, we participated in the Stilettos to Steel Toes essay competition this year. We wanted to send our congratulations to our winners! One of our own SWE members, Andrea Walvatne, won 1st place overall! 2nd and 3rd place within SWE went to Britta Anderson and Kim D’Augustino! Thank you everyone for all your wonderful essay submissions, this is a great fundraiser for our section.

The girls were kind enough to share their award-winning essays with us. I have copied them below. Congratulations again!

Andrea Walvatne:

“My shoes can take me anywhere. Whether it is high heels to a business meeting, steel toes to a construction site, sneakers for the gym, or hiking shoes on the trails. My interests are as varied as my shoes. They range from donning snowboarding boots for the hill to sliding into slippers and curling up with a good book. But the worn gray high-tops are what I wear most of the time. Sitting in classrooms and labs getting an education in this field is a career choice most women would not pursue. I like to do things a little more non-traditionally. Like walking around the jungle in rural Panama in my hiking sandals, collecting data for a micro-hydro power project for my senior design. Or choosing a school where I need to wear insulated boots to walk to class through drifts of snow most of the year. I walk through the drifts to become an engineer, a job that requires a lot of intelligence, creativity, and determination. Not everyone can fill the shoes of this position. Engineers need to be adaptable and able to wear different kinds of shoes to succeed in a variety of positions. They also need to understand their customers and able to wear their shoes. In a few months I will be walking across a stage in my black flats and planning on many new experiences this accomplishment can achieve. My college life may be ending, but my feet are not tired enough to stop yet. There are still some shoes in my closet that have not been worn. I want to wear my brown boots all around Europe, my silver flats in the bright cities of Asia, and my slip-ons in small communities in Africa and South America. I want to visit all the strange and beautiful places in this world. I want to learn from the people and how I can help them as an engineer. I want to make a difference. Then when I have accomplished this, I will get some new high-tops and see how far they will take me.”

Kim D’Augustino:

When asked, “Where will your shoes take you?” I considered all the places that I wanted to see and the things that I wanted to do, and honestly, I don’t know where my shoes will take me. However, I can tell you where I want my shoes to take me. I want my hiking boots to take me to the top of the Rocky Mountains, my running shoes to take me to the ocean’s edge and back, and my boat shoes to sail me to the most beautiful coral reefs. I dream that my golf shoes will take me to play on historic Royal Liverpool in England and that my rain boots will take me to the best land for puddle-jumping. Perhaps my sandals will take me to the beaches of Costa Rica or my ski boots will take me to the mountains in Aspen. I’d love for my bowling shoes to help me bowl a perfect 300 and for my waders to take me fishing in the waters of Great Falls, Montana. I know that my stilettos will take me on beautiful and exciting journeys and that my steel-toe boots will give me rewarding adventures. I ponder all the places that my shoes can take me and I can’t help but feel excitement with my life to come. Where ever my shoes take me, I will have fun, cherish the moments, and love the life that I am living.

Britta Anderson:

to be posted later

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