College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Mya O’Connell: Outstanding senior in chemical engineering

Mya O'Connell


Manly, Iowa 

Clubs and activities 

I work as a Resident Assistant and as a Peer Mentor. In the past, I have also worked as a tutor. I have studied abroad twice, and I have been involved in Freshmen Leaders in Engineering. I am currently involved in the Society of Women Engineers and Tau Beta Pi. 

Valuable hands-on learning  

My study abroad experiences were the most valuable. I got to experience diverse cultures and since my lab courses were completed abroad, I got practical experience with the engineering theories I had been studying while abroad. 

My internships and co-op were also valuable hands-on learning experiences. They taught me what I did and did not want out of my career and helped me get my post-graduation job. 

Most influential mentor 

One of the Ch E academic advisors, Matt Brown. Matt had always encouraged me to have as many experiences as possible, whether that be helping with the study abroad process or suggesting classes I may want to take. 

Greatest accomplishment at Iowa State 

I would consider my tutor groups to be my greatest accomplishment. I loved being able to help fellow students better understand the material in their classes. 

Plans after graduation 

I will be moving to Cedar Rapids to work for FM Global. 

Making my mark on the world 

I’m hoping to leave the world a safer place. 

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer 

I think the best thing about the Iowa State engineering experience is the relationships I’ve built with my peers. Being an Iowa State engineer is a team effort, and my classmates were essential in navigating the coursework and offered perspectives that will always stay with me.