Professional engineer Aurora White is working hard to inspire other indigenous youths to take on careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) recently named White 2023’s “Most Promising Engineer.”
The award is annually given to a professional engineer with less than five years of workforce experience after earning a professional degree. Candidates are nominated for the award, and their early technical contributions must indicate a promising career. White, a member of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, will be featured in AISES’ fall edition of its quarterly publication, “Winds of Change.”
INSPIRING YOUNG INDIGENOUS STEM STUDENTS
“I am deeply humbled by this honor from AISES,” says White, a calibration engineer at automaker Stellantis. “Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed building and fixing things, which eventually led to my career choice in engineering. I am also especially passionate about my culture, and I hope my achievements might help inspire younger members of the indigenous community to pursue a future in STEM fields and make the world a better place through their work.”
White began working with the company in 2017 following her graduation from Michigan Technological University. She received her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oakland University in 2020.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed building and fixing things.
In 2022, White graduated from the company’s Leaders Embracing All Diversity (LEAD) leadership program that focuses on training and growing multicultural talent for future leadership opportunities. Now, she serves on that program’s board.
MENTORING AND STEM OUTREACH
White also serves as the treasurer for ICON – the Indigenous Cultural Opportunity Network. ICON is one of 11 employee-directed business resource groups at Stellantis, representing an array of affinity communities within the company, providing members with mentorship, leadership opportunities and career connections. White helps coordinate Indigenous education activities within the company through ICON, while also conducting STEM outreach in the community.
I hope my achievements might help inspire younger members of the indigenous community to pursue a future in STEM fields.
“Aurora is truly an inspiration, not just for her commitment to her work, but also for her leadership in the indigenous community,” said Kaitlyn Mulkey, the president of ICON and a community outreach and marketing analyst for the Jeep® brand. “I am so happy she won this award and am excited to witness her future accomplishments.”