No Mountain High Enough
When she is rock climbing, Cloelle
Sausville-Giddings '04 is studying the routes, the sequence
of movements, that will get her smoothly across the face
of a rock wall. The sport is as much a mental challenge as a physical
one. And when she's climbed through the crux of the chosen route,
the hardest part, the Vermont native feels clearheaded and accomplished.
who transferred to Smith after studying for two years at
the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematics,
started rock climbing about the same time she decided to
become an engineer. Her life revolves around the challenges
of both, she says.
Like climbing, engineering is
rigorous and demanding. Both call for developing agile problem-solving
skills and the ability to collaborate with others. "Engineering
can be very stressful," says Sausville-Giddings, who as a Ford Scholar
received this year a full-tuition scholarship and a laptop computer. "But
there's something about being in the company of bright, driven women -- it
makes a person want to maintain a certain standard. It makes a good dynamic."
she was considering a transfer, Sausville-Giddings says the idea of joining
a pioneering program offering an all-women's engineering education
intrigued her. She wanted a small program, small classes and the chance
to work closely with her professors. "My professors are all
brilliant," insists Sausville-Giddings,
who comes from a long line of physicians. "The whole engineering program
has definitely lived up to my expectations."
Just a few weeks ago, Sausville-Giddings
got word that she had received a highly competitive fellowship from the
National Science Foundation to continue her engineering studies. This
fall, she starts advanced study at Cornell University in environmental
engineering specializing in water resources, a reflection of her keen
sense of social responsibility and desire to create solutions to the
problems of natural systems and contaminated environments. "I feel very strongly about contributing
to the environment, and engineering -- taking science and applying it to
the problems of humanity -- is a unique way to do that."