My name is Hannah McGary. I am a junior from Richardson, Texas, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering and Mathematics. My decision to attend SMU was largely influenced by Lyle’s innovative approach to problem solving as applied to today’s world and issues posed to future generations.
When I realized how much I enjoyed the challenges presented by AP Calculus and AP Environmental Science at the beginning of my senior year in high school, I knew that Environmental Engineering was the field for me. Naturally, SMU’s impressive LEED certified buildings in the Engineering Quad piqued my interest. After meeting with the Associate Dean of Lyle, Tammy Richards, the Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment, Kim Pondrom, and my Financial Advisor, Cindy Luetzow, I determined SMU’s administration to be the most helpful, friendly and welcoming.
Dance was a huge part of my high school career. My involvement in the J.J. Pearce Pacesetters drill team served as my main extracurricular activity, stress-reliever, and social outlet during those four years of my life. I was so excited when I made the SMU Pom Squad before my freshman year, because that ensured that I could continue one of my main passions alongside engineering. Our coach, Lori Todd, is awesome! She has definitely been a wonderful mentor. This group of girls has served as a great sense of community for me, especially during my first semester as a freshman. I had the privilege of being an SMU Pom Squad member during my freshman and sophomore year.
Since then, I have taken on a part-time internship at a consulting engineering firm in Dallas and have joined Chi Omega’s Iota Alpha Chapter. My internship experience has been invaluable to my development as a young engineer. I now have a clearer idea of what I would like to do post-graduation with my degree and have had such a positive experience building relationships with many professionals in the CEE field.
Early on, I knew that I wanted to be involved in a few engineering extracurricular organizations! Before I knew it, I was involved in Lyle Ambassadors and serving as Fundraising Chair for EWB (Engineers Without Borders). Now I am EWB’s Vice President of Finance and have had invaluable experiences involving humanity engineering, career development and even personal growth. Plugging into an organization where I can be a part of something bigger than myself is the primary reason I was drawn to EWB. I had the opportunity to serve in Panimacac, Guatemala during the Spring Break of my Sophomore year to implement a water storage tank and distribution system. The experience was life-changing to say the least. I have not only gained a phenomenal amount of experience learning how to fundraise and how to be a good steward of money, but have also gained a greater sense of what my future holds professionally.
EWB’s mission parallels quite nicely with that of the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity (HI). Having the leadership and support of HI on campus has also provided countless opportunities to get involved in humanitarian engineering events. I was instantly excited when HI announced SMU’s Master of Arts in Sustainability and Development, because this is what I have been looking for! This Masters program is sure to lead me in the right direction to work with architectural design with a sustainability emphasis.
Never have I doubted that SMU is the perfect fit for me; I am always proud to say, “Pony Up”!