Award-winner Betsy Smith came home from Wyoming for the summer

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by Jack Mayne

Elizabeth J. Smith, the University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science who recently won its top award, came home for the summer and she makes it clear she feels Wyoming is a school worthy of others from Burien to check out.

She was named by the college as its outstanding junior just before summer (read our previous coverage here).

Betsy (as she prefers to be called) also is a music minor at the university.

Smith says she hasn’t figured out yet which direction her career will take. She still has two more years of undergraduate study.

“I am doing mechanical engineering and I am kind of interested in acoustic design but that is very specific so I am not focusing on that completely.

“But if I could get a job in design of instruments or concert halls or that type of thing, that would be like my dream job.”

Her summer paid internship is with her father’s employer, Boeing, doing research and development on using composites and robotics in manufacturing processes.

Smith said the award by the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society membership is given each year to a sophomore and a junior and is based on academic achievement, activities and service.

Betsy says she wasn’t a member of the society until after her award but she says the quality of the university and the honors program lured her to what is her mother’s home state.

She checked out the school when looking places to get a degree, and “even though I didn’t think I would want to go there,” found it became her first choice.

University of Wyoming, with about 12,000 undergraduate and grad students, is about 40 miles northwest of the state capitol, Cheyenne, which is located in the state’s southeastern corner.

Betsy says she has lived most of her life in the Puget Sound area, although her father, who works for Boeing, was posted to England so she had the second and third grades there.

She said she really wanted people to know that “Wyoming is a really great place and it is a great school. There are a lot of scholarships and it’s a friendly place.

Laramie weather is a bit different from the Northwest, but she says, “it feels more cold here because of the wetness, but it definitely does get very cold there.”

She says the society nominates most of the 70 students with her 4.0 grade point average.

“They send you an e-mail and you fill out an application,” she says. The applicants are then interviewed and she was given the award.

“Even though I was a sophomore, I’m a junior by (scholastic) credits,” she says,

She says her summer at home, besides her internship, means hanging out with friends, and enjoying her time. The family took a trip back to Wyoming for the 4th of July holiday.

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