Since January, Christine Johnson '04
has had a job waiting for her. After graduation she joins
the Philadelphia-based firm Public Financial Management, Inc., a capital
formation and investment advisory firm serving state and local governments.
entry into the field of public finance, a career to which
she can bring what she has honed at Smith: strong communication and
abstract reasoning skills and an understanding of the scientific and
mathematical principles that govern the practice of all engineering
engineers can do anything," she insists.
Yes, anything. While
an engineering student at Smith, the Manhattan native gathered
work experience and insight into the field's various disciplines
by signing up for internships every summer -- working with environmental
engineers at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan; researching
proteins on ceramic surfaces at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
in Troy, New York; and writing reports on the research and development
program at Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco. For two
consecutive years, Johnson has been a member of Smith engineering
teams invited to participate in the space administration's Reduced
Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program and to conduct experiments
at NASA's Johnson
Space Center. Last year she was among seven engineering students who studied
sensory changes in humans during minimum-gravity flights at the space center.
This year she joined teammates to conduct a new experiment -- how liquid lubricants
adsorb to metal surfaces in microgravity.
Beyond engineering, Johnson
has served as chair of the Academic Honor Board and studied history,
Latin and philosophy, collecting almost enough credits in the latter
to have declared a minor. "Engineering
is not a disparate field to me; it is all part of the big picture," she
notes. "I liked being
able to branch out and take some other classes. I don't consider my philosophy
classes to be much different from my science classes. They are both about explaining
the world in different languages."