Fulton Schools outstanding grad plugs into engineering and helping others in a big way
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.
Brielle Januszewski says that she never understood what an engineer was or what an engineer could do, so she never considered engineering as a possibility for her. When she applied to colleges, she decided to major in sustainability.
“After some research, I realized that the type of work I want to do is better suited to an engineering degree, so I switched my major,” says Januszewski, whose hometown is Phoenix. “Now that I am in an engineering program, I know that it is the perfect major for me and I do not want to do anything else.”
She was a member of Fulton Ambassadors for three and a half years, during which she volunteered to teach high school students about ASU engineering through campus tours, special events and shadow days.
“As a Fulton ambassador, I could reach out to younger students and inform them of the opportunities and benefits of engineering that I was never aware of,” says Januszewski. “I wanted to impact the lives of all the students who came to ambassador events and let them know that the Fulton Schools can help them on their path towards a successful and meaningful degree.”
In terms of work with peers, Januszewski managed an ASU team of more than 20 civil engineering students to design and construct a lightweight concrete canoe to compete against 17 regional schools in the Regional Pacific Southwest Conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“The concrete canoe was the most memorable project I worked on,” she says. “It was a yearlong effort on which I worked for 20-40 hours a week with my best friends. It was great because it was challenging, but once we were able to compete it was so rewarding to see all of my hard work — something that was fun, competitive and truly impressive.”
Januszewski is a triple major and Barrett, The Honors College, student graduating with degrees in environmental engineering, biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology) and political science along with a minor in French and a certificate in international studies.
In addition to her roles with Fulton Ambassadors and ASCE, she was the external affairs officer of Tau Beta Pi, she led an Engineering Projects in Community Service program project, she participated in two semesters of the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative, was in the Grand Challenges Scholar Program and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for five semesters. She also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Chi Epsilon and SSEBE Ambassadors, and she received NASA Space Grant research funding.
She was selected as the Outstanding Graduate in the civil engineering program and was named ASU's Outstanding Graduate from the Fulton Schools. Januszewski also is a recipient of the IMPACT Award from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering for her leadership, volunteer and service roles that have positively impacted the community.
Januszewski, who is also a recipient of a 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award, encourages women to have the confidence in their own abilities to chase the opportunities represented by an engineering degree.
“Women generate ideas that are just as innovative and valuable as anyone’s,” says Januszewski. “So, being a woman in engineering is important because it benefits everyone when we can apply our skills and pursue our interests.”