Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Zoe Chau

Mary Gates Leadership Scholar, Winter 2022

Leadership Project: Fostering Leadership as a Lead Engineering Peer Educator

Project Description: There are several systems in place for College of Engineering (CoE) students to achieve their highest potential. Engineering Undeclared students – freshmen accepted into the CoE – are placed into an Engineering First-year Interest Group (E-FIG) during fall quarter. These E-FIGs are taught by Engineering Peer Educators (EPE), who encourage community building and engineering exploration. The EPEs are mentored by two Lead EPEs and the EPE Program Manager in a spring and fall leadership class. As Lead EPE for 2022, my fellow Co-Lead and I focus on providing guidance on lesson planning, building community, and professional development to encourage the EPE cohort to reflect upon how their role ties to their future goals. 

What have you learned throughout your leadership project?

My project has emphasized to me the importance of taking initiative in a team setting, communication, and thinking ahead as a group. My discussions with my mentor have helped me to recognize how the intersection of my personal identities influence my leadership style and experience with imposter syndrome, ultimately strengthening my self-confidence as a leader. 

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Verbalize your perspective on leadership and how it influences your project with your mentor before starting your application! Having an additional source of feedback can also be invaluable for better articulating how this project ties into your future goals.