Lexington Park resident Bobbie Diedrich will tell you she didn’t think she was very good at math in middle school – in fact she didn’t think much of math, at all. But in her second year at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) she decided to take Calculus 1 and Engineering just to see if she could change her mind about her aptitude, or her overall opinion about the world of Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM).
“While in the those classes, I had to work hard,” Diedrich shares. “But I realized that I really enjoyed the challenges and ultimately changed my major to engineering.”
Diedrich will join other grads and engineering professionals on a CSM Engineering ‘Meet and Greet’ panel Thursday, Dec. 3 and share highlights of her academic journey that landed her in her current job as a non-destructive engineer for the Naval Air Warfare Center’ Aircraft Division at the Patuxent River Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
“During my breaks as a student and for the past five years, I regularly get to climb on and inside aircraft to perform inspections that ensure the aircrafts are safe to fly,” said Diedrich. “I love my job and am very happy with my decision nine years ago to pursue an engineering career.”
Diedrich participated in a unique agreement between CSM, the University of Maryland (UMD) of College Park and Pax River that allows engineering students to complete the engineering curriculum at CSM and transfer with junior status to earn a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at UMD. The Southern Maryland partnership provides students with the opportunity to do an internship with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), a division of NAVAIR, with a possible employment opportunity upon successful graduation and completion of all Pathway Program requirements. Like Diedrich, students who sign up for this partnership can take all of their classes in Southern Maryland at CSM and then take classes at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) to complete their junior and senior classes with UMD.
Students who think they may be interested in an engineering career are invited to hear from Diedrich, local engineers and program partners at CSM’s Virtual Engineer ‘Meet and Greet’ Dec. 3. RSVPs are required to access Zoom information. Please register at https://www.csmd.edu/calendar/student-services/2020-12-03-Engineering-Meet-and-Greet
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