Jill Tietjen

Tietjen Gift Supports Experiential Learning for Engineers

At a time when educators are looking for ways to engage young women seeking careers in math and science, Jill S. Tietjen (Engineering ’76) is a perfect role model. She was one of the first ten women to graduate from the Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Now a registered professional engineer, Ms. Tietjen received a B.S. in applied mathematics with a minor in electrical engineering University of from U.Va. and, later, an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Despite her personal success, the Littleton, Colo., resident believes she has another important task to accomplish. “Women desire work that has value, and there is value in what engineers do,” she said. “My goal is to enhance women’s opportunities in the field and their engagement in global engineering matters.”

Ms. Tietjen, a former Engineering Foundation board member, the 2004 recipient of the SEAS Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2007 recipient of the U.Va. Women’s Center’s Distinguished Alumna Award, has pledged $100,000 to fund experiential learning opportunities for two Engineering School undergraduates each year. Students selected to receive this support will tackle a global engineering problem during the summer between their third and fourth years of study and present their experiences when they return to Grounds. Ms. Tietjen’s gift also will help to support a staff position to broaden experiential learning opportunities across the Engineering School.

“When engineers design water conveyance systems in developing countries, little girls no longer have to spend their days getting water for their families and instead can attend school,” she said. “Anyone can see value in that type of work.”