When LisAnne Francois chose Rose-Hulman, she never imagined graduating in four years with a master’s degree in engineering management along with her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Francois, a first-year student from Powder Spring, Georgia, is part of Rose Squared, a concurrent degree program that allows students to take graduate-level coursework along with working toward an undergraduate degree. Because Francois had enough qualifying college credits earned in high school, she’s on track to finish college with two degrees.
Francois selected Rose-Hulman because of its small class sizes, and she wanted a college where professors personally know students.
“I went to a private high school where class sizes were small, but my elementary school was a charter school where classes were bigger; so I’ve experienced both environments” says Francois. “I like being in a place where you have more freedom to ask questions and the professors are available to you and know what you’re struggling with. And I like walking around campus seeing familiar faces. I don’t know everyone here, but Rose has a community feel.”
Even as a first-year student, Francois has felt the personalized attention.
“In my physics class, we had homework due every Friday,” she says. “I always did my homework during the week and anything I didn’t have finished or I needed help on, I scheduled time to talk with my professor Thursday afternoon or Friday. My calculus professor was also very accessible and up front about office hours.”
Francois is pleased Rose-Hulman offers students the opportunity to work on hands-on projects in a traditional lab setting. In her engineering practice class, a first-year design course, she learned to build circuits, used motors, potentiometers, LED lights, speakers and sonar sensors. Additionally, the last half of the class was dedicated to building robots.
Francois selected electrical engineering as her major because of her interest in energy efficiency and how it improves the planet and peoples’ health. She’s been passionate about sustainability and making an impact in the world from a young age.
“As a person, I always look at things as how they are, but also how they can be better,” she says. “I do that with things like my class schedule but also on a macro scale. I see the world and what can be better. I always want to make something better.”
While Francois is still deciding on her future career endeavors, she knows her path will involve helping people and the planet. She is considering a career that includes a consulting role for a firm that contracts with companies that make their energy generation more efficient. Or working for a company that is practicing energy efficiency and helping it improve and make it cleaner.
When she’s not in class or studying, Francois tries to exercise in the campus fitness center in the Sports and Recreation Center several times a week. She’s also very involved in the Rose chapter of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and has an interest in Engineers Without Borders. Francois is a Noblitt Scholar and joined her fellow Noblitt students painting the Spencer Ballpark shelter last fall. She is looking forward to participating in the Noblitt Scholars mentor program where she will be paired with a sophomore scholar.