Meet Elizabeth Cook – Featured Student for January 2015

Where are you from?

Houston, Texas

What school do you go to? What year are you?

The University of Alabama, third-year senior.

Do you hold any positions in your AIChE chapter or with AIChE nationally?

2016 Southern Regional Conference Chair.

Describe an event in your chapter that you are most proud to have been involved with.

Planning the 2016 SRC so far has been such a blast. I'm loving working with other students to create a great conference that showcases our beautiful university and can't wait to see it all come together next year.

What are your plans after graduation? In what field are you most interested in having an impact?

After graduation, I’ll probably join the workforce, most likely in oil and gas, where I can explore more environmentally friendly obtainment methods.

How do you blow off steam and keep your sanity between classes, homework and projects?

Board games! I can never pass up a good game of Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride.


Which of your undergraduate classes have you most enjoyed?

I really enjoyed the first ChemE course I ever took—Mass and Energy Balances. It was a great introduction to ChemE and involved a lot of problem solving, so I flourished.

How did you decide to pursue a degree in ChE?

I knew I wanted to major in engineering once I realized that it combines science, math, and problem-solving, all of which I have an affinity for. But I actually started as MechE for three weeks, before realizing that physics was the bane of my existence and chemistry was much more my speed. So I switched, got into the intro to ChemE class three weeks after the start of the semester, and the rest is history.

What is the best kept secret on your campus?

There’s a garden with lots of fossils and cool rocks inside the Bevill Building—it’s fondly referred to as the Garden of Eden. It’s always a good place to sit and study between classes.

What will you be most saddened to leave behind at school when you move on?

Definitely the people. The majority of my close friends are out-of-state students as well, and the chances that we’ll ever live near each other again are very slim. The professors are also great, and I’m going to miss having their influence on a daily basis.

Do you have any advice to incoming students and underclassmen ChEs around the world?

Get involved. In AIChE, SWE, NSBE, Break Dance Club—find something you love and are passionate about and dig your heels in. College is about academics, yes, but it’s also about taking advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to you. As long as your GPA is fine, take time to enjoy college. It won’t last forever. Also, don't be afraid to talk to professors. They are there to help you! That's why they decided to be professors!

What's your first thought when you wake up in the morning?

I’m definitely the girl who thinks “five more minutes...” and snoozes her alarm.

How would you like to be involved with AIChE after graduation?

I hope to continue attending AIChE National Conference for networking and development, and will definitely join the Young Professionals Committee.