Amy is an IT leader whose professional adaptability and commitment to empowering those of all abilities make her an example for future engineers.
How did your experience in the College of Engineering shape your career path?
It’s the foundation of analytical thinking, solving complex problems, learning how to collaborate with others, and also just discipline. It was a challenging curriculum and it shaped my perseverance and passion for solving complex problems with technology.
How did you choose to attend UW Madison?
My dream was to be an astronaut and at that time aerospace engineering was a distinction within engineering mechanics. My other passion was to be a collegiate soccer player, and I was offered a scholarship for soccer. Madison was the perfect opportunity. It was a top engineering school and I could pursue my passion for athletics.
What are some of your fondest memories of your time at UW-Madison?
We went to the Final Four NCAA championships my sophomore year, and in my senior year, we were in the NCAA championship game. We ended up No. 2 in the nation. To this day when I meet people from Wisconsin, we talk about walking up Bascom Hill backward in the middle of winter, and those amazing days when I would be sitting outside in the sunshine looking over the lake studying. And then of course, sporting events. I’m a huge sports fanatic. So all of the basketball, volleyball games, hockey—a lot of the winter sports, I could actually attend. Football games, of course, were fun, when I was in town.
What advice would you give students today?
I went into this to be an astronaut—and now I’m focused on accessibility, and all the things I’ve done in between. There are just so many opportunities and transferable skills when you have those great fundamentals. So be open to that, to following your passion, and to getting uncomfortable to try new things.
If you could go back to school today, what would you do?
I’d still be an astronaut. I think now there’s far more opportunity to be deaf and go to space as an astronaut than in the past. I also probably would go into gaming. There wasn’t gaming as a profession when we went to school—whether it’s designing and creating new video games or just being in eSports. I could see competing in eSports.
Today I’m passionate about golf. I had a knee replacement, and that ended my soccer career. But I love hiking and any outdoor sports. And I’m still a tech geek, so I like technology.
Any family you’d like to mention?
I have been with my husband, Dennis for 20 years. We love living in sunny Scottdsale, Arizona. And of course I have an amazing family who all are still up in Minnesota, and I visit often, but mainly in the summer!