Christina Kochanski Drouet

Christina Kochanski Drouet (BS 79)
Modernization Plan donor
Deputy Regional Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
Great Lakes Region

I attended U of I in the late 1970’s – when things like “STEM” existed, but didn’t have a tag. There was not widespread conscious awareness that women and minorities were underrepresented in those fields. Female enrollment in traditionally male fields such as medicine and law were visibly on the rise, however the more technical professions were not garnering attention.

When I applied to colleges, I didn’t give much thought to what the world around me expected me to study or become (it was not engineering). At U of I, I found an environment that wanted to provide all its students opportunity to learn and excel. Faculty was openminded and encouraging. It really was idyllic, in that I felt none of the bias or barriers that I later experienced as a professional. The education I received provided infinite opportunity for me to pursue a challenging and satisfying career. The environment provided me the confidence to set forth on that career.

The world seems to have changed several times over since I graduated. By supporting U of I financially over the years, I know students will find those same open minds and opportunities to create themselves, and become the civil engineers that our society will always need.