Meet Kaitlyn Hartnagel: Our July Leading Woman
Name: Kaitlyn Hartnagel Major: Civil Engineering with a Construction Management Minor
Hometown: Columbia, Missouri What are your career/life goals? I hope to end up working in the construction field or some job where I can be outside a lot. I have no set plans career wise yet. I hope to travel a lot once I have a job and eventually visit all the national parks! What is your favorite part about your major and why did you choose it? I love being a woman in STEM! It is kind of empowering to be one of a few girls in my classes. I also have always wanted to be a civil engineer because my that’s what my dad does. I loved Legos growing up so it also made sense to go into the field. What internship did you get this summer? I work at a local engineering firm called Allstate Consultants
What are you most excited for about the internship? I love learning new things and getting hands on experience. I have learned so many different things that aren’t taught in the classroom. What organizations or hobbies are you passionate about? This past year, I was on Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis Steering Committee which raises money for clients in Mid-Missouri with MS. This past year, we fundraised over $160,000 that goes directly to our clients. It was really amazing to see how appreciative the clients were of our work as well as get to know them and listen to their stories and experiences. I also got to meet lots of new people that I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t joined RAMS. I love anything where I can be outside whether that be traveling, hiking, walking to class and just about everything in between.
How have your experiences in Theta changed you? I think I have grown tremendously. I do not think I would be the person I am today without Theta. At the start of my freshman year, I wanted to get involved within the College of Engineering because I didn’t feel like I knew anyone or belonged. Several girls in Theta encouraged me to come to meetings or check out some engineering organizations. I wouldn’t have joined on my own if I hadn’t had that encouragement from older girls. I now am super involved within the College of Engineering and have found a community there. I also held a Theta officer position that challenged me in new ways. In 2021, I was the year-long activities director for Theta, making me head liaison for RAMS, Greek Week, and Homecoming. This was definitely a challenge for me learning to balance my position with school as well as other organizations. While it was a very stressful job, I wouldn’t change a thing about it because it has shaped me into the person I am today. What does Theta mean to you? Theta is my source of motivation. Looking at all the different driven and genuine individuals in our chapter, I am inspired to put my best self and effort into everything I do. Each and every member of Theta is passionate about what they do, ranging from hobbies to class work. It is inspiring to look around at the chapter and see all the amazing accomplishments that members have achieved. I also know that the women of Theta will always have my back and support me no matter the circumstances. Do you have any advice for the underclassmen? You don’t always have to say “yes”. Do spontaneous things with your friends, but also make sure you’re taking the time necessary for yourself. The hardest lesson I've learned in college was saying no. I've struggled with balancing school, clubs, friends, and rest. It’s okay to stay in and watch a movie or go to the library to study. It was very challenging at first to say no, but now that I have figured out a balance I am less stressed and able to actually enjoy the time I spend relaxing or with friends.
Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?
I have so many, but the first one that comes to my mind is meeting my big, Kamryn, during recruitment. She blew out my candle on Preference Day and we instantly connected, we went to the same high school and I was even friends with her younger sister (who is now my little, Emma) but we had never talked. Kamryn has constantly been one of my biggest supporters since that day no matter what and I was in her wedding this month which is just crazy to me!