Hailey Stock: SPX Paves Engineering Path
Hailey Stock ’14 clearly remembers loving history and science as a kid and believing she would become a teacher.
“But every day as I walked into math class at St. Pius, Mr. (Larry) Sanchez would tell me, ‘There are not enough women in engineering. You’re so good at math. You need to be an engineer,’” Stock says. “Literally, every day.”
When she didn’t respond affirmatively during that sophomore geometry class, Mr. Sanchez threatened to tell her mother Stock should pursue engineering. Then he did.
“My mom helped me explore the field after Mr. Sanchez ratted me out,” she says with laughter in her voice.
When Stock graduates in December 2018, she will be recognized as the University of Arizona’s Outstanding Senior of the Biosystems Engineering Department and will start a job she landed last April with the U.S. Forest Service at the Coronado National Forest in Tucson working on environmental remediation projects.
Her degree in biosystems engineering focuses on water resource management and she graduates with a minor in mechanical engineering. “We focus on human interaction with the environment,” she says of her field. “The problems it is tackling are the problems that are important to me.”
Stock began considering engineering problems as a junior in high school with internships at Sandia National Labs that stretched through the summer of her sophomore year at U of A. An internship after her college junior year with the U.S. Forest Service led to her job offer. Stock will start a master’s degree program in civil engineering next fall.
Stock says St. Pius X High School instilled a solid work ethic in her that other students sometimes have to learn after they get to college. It also inspired her to pursue leadership and presented her with opportunities and connections.
“At St. Pius I was surrounded by really high achieving students encouraging me to do my best,” she says. “I still try to surround myself with high achieving people. And because of Pius, it’s natural to be doing something in addition to going to school. Pius inspires you to be a leader.”
While at U of A, Stock served as leadership chair and website manager of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and became an Engineering Ambassador, speaking to prospective students and visiting middle and high schools to talk about engineering careers.
“When I came to U of A, I met two Engineering Ambassadors who were women,” Stock says. “I saw them, and finally, I could see myself in the field. I said to myself, ‘I can be an engineer. I am capable of this.’ I wanted to be that for someone else.”