Dr. Cooper will share aspects of her personal and professional background that she feels have been most influential in helping her find and “stay the course” on her STEM pathway. She will talk about her current position in a unique “Engineering Partnership Program,” designed to provide opportunities in engineering and computer science in a rural location in Colorado – at a more affordable cost to students. One of the highlights of the partnership program is a focus on “Outdoor Industry Engineering,” where students are engaged in real-world engineering and computer science projects related to mountain bikes, ski gear, and outdoor apparel. Another highlight of the program is engaging students in local and international community design projects. Dr. Cooper hopes that talk attendees will leave feeling excited to share the opportunity of the WCU-CU Boulder Partnership Program with the students they mentor and teach.