College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Abby Schaefer: Outstanding senior in biological systems engineering

Abby Schaefer

Major: Biological systems engineering, emphasis in bioenvironmental engineering

Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa

Clubs and activities: Pi Beta Phi, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), The Engineering Ambassador and Mentor Program (TEAM), ABE Learning Communities Peer Mentor, Undergraduate research laboratory technician in the Water Quality Research Lab

Awards and honors: Alpha Epsilon Honor Society

Who was your most influential mentor while at Iowa State?

Leigh Ann Long is the laboratory manager of the Water Quality Research Lab in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department, and I have been able to work with her for the last two years. Integrity is fundamental to engineering as well as conducting scientific research, and is a trait that is obvious in Leigh Ann and is something I admire about her.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishments at Iowa State?

I feel a sense of pride when I think about the students I have met through giving campus tours that have reached out to me and let me know they will be attending Iowa State. I also feel proud of the relationships I have formed through being a peer mentor and an undergraduate teaching assistant. Being able to positively impact others’ adventures at Iowa State is what I consider to be my greatest accomplishment.

What’s your favorite memory of your time at Iowa State?

The highlight of my time at ISU was being able to live in the chapter facility of Pi Beta Phi. Through Pi Phi I was able to meet so many amazing women that I wouldn’t have otherwise met and was able to form lifelong friendships.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

The Lagomarcino Hall courtyard when the trees are blooming in springtime.

What’s your advice for first-year Iowa State engineering students?

Don’t be afraid to take a class just because you are interested in it and the topic is exciting to you. That excited feeling is where your passion lies! Also, don’t be afraid to wait to declare your major. Being undecided is OK.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, you can find me training for my next half-marathon, knitting socks or trying new recipes.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I will get to spend an extra year at ISU doing my M.S. with Michelle Soupir, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Adina Howe, assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering. My long term goal is to work on projects related to stormwater management and water utilities.