For self-described “people person” Sara Boukdad ’15, the close-knit community culture at Stonehill College did more than just provide the academics and experiences needed to realize her dream of becoming an engineer. It also supported her desire to connect with and help others.
“In my current role, I’m able to apply my technical background as well as use my people skills to accomplish our program objectives,” said Sara, who is now a program lead at Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem, a partnership that addresses environmental problems by developing sustainable projects in a southeast neighborhood of South Bend, Indiana.
Sara was enrolled in Stonehill’s 3+2 Dual-degree Engineering Program, which offers a bachelor’s degree in science after three years at Stonehill and a second bachelor’s degree in engineering after two years at Stonehill’s sister school the University of Notre Dame. Sara capitalized on the opportunity to earn degrees in both environmental science and environmental engineering.
“Stonehill was integral in preparing me for my current position,” said Sara. “I had many opportunities to think strategically about how to carry out a project from concept to completion. Students are given the chance to think independently and apply that knowledge.”
During her time at Stonehill, Sara said she benefitted from the guidance and mentorship of faculty in the Environmental Sciences & Studies Program. The passion for the environment that Sara discovered in the classroom was enhanced through the activities she engaged in on campus — such as volunteering at The Farm at Stonehill and coordinating the College’s annual Sustainability Fair — and during an internship with the Esplanade Association in Boston.
She says Stonehill’s holistic approach — with its focus on educating the “mind and the heart” —along with its liberal arts foundation have given her an advantage.
“The skills you develop through a liberal arts education are beneficial, especially when paired with an engineering curriculum,” said Sara. “Having a science, liberal arts and engineering background has allowed me to adapt to any situation, pick up new skills and communicate to different audiences.”