Grateful of the help FEP gave her, Harden became an FEP tutor her sophomore year up until winter quarter of this year. She enjoyed being a resource for her students, talking with them about her time at UC and how she decided on her major. The tutorship also helped Harden to retain information from her own freshman classes, which proved to be beneficial when she took the Fundamental Engineering exam.
Additionally, she tutored during the summer months with the National Technical Association’s Summer Enrichment Program (NTASEP). NTASEP is a summer math session designed to help minority students prepare for the upcoming year’s math courses. The program works with 2nd graders up through high school. Harden was the lead coach for high school students and gave them valuable knowledge of her college experience that they could one day use.
Harden was involved with numerous organizations on campus, especially within CEAS. She held executive positions in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), NSBE and CEAS Ambassadors. As the Regional Finance Chair for NSBE this past year, she was responsible for fundraising for regional meetings and conferences. Harden planned the career fair for the NSBE Fall Regional Conference in Milwaukee, WI this past November. Through her efforts, over 35 companies and 10 graduate school representatives attended, and they raised over $96,000 for the region.
Just a few days out from graduation, Harden proudly looks at the class composite of civil engineering class of 1971. Looking back at her is her uncle, Scott Stargel, one of the first African American students in the discipline. Stargel was the first African American to do co-op work with Proctor and Gamble. Harden’s cousin started in civil engineering in 2004, but had to leave to work full time due to other concerns. He had always wanted to go back to UC, but was tragically killed in October at the age of 26.
Harden says, “I feel that this degree is for both of us. I am humbled to say I was able to make it this far. His passing has helped keep me motivated this final year and decide to continue on to graduate school in the fall.”