Ellen Money - Student Success

March 25, 2015 | | Student Success

Ellen Money

Marriage, a child and a dead-end job plus a lifelong interest in bridges propelled Ellen Money to enter the 2+2 Program through Chattanooga State’s Engineering Technology division with a degree in civil engineering as her goal despite lower test scores due to testing anxiety. “Dean McGhee thoroughly explained how difficult it is for a student who tests so low in math to make it all the way through an engineering degree, but luckily I am stubborn and when someone tells me that I can’t do something or that it will be hard, it makes me want to prove I can,” recalls Ms. Money. Following her meeting with McGhee, she was enrolled one month later and never looked back. Ellen graduated in the top 15 percent of her class. “Balancing home, school and work was difficult. I began each day at 8 a.m. and left at 5 p.m. or later. I enrolled in 12 to 15 hours each semester, including summers. Each week I blocked out 20 hours to study/do homework and about 20-25 hours to work at my retail job,” shares Ellen. Ellen is quick to praise Dean McGhee and Engineering Technology Department Head Beth Ruta. “They were rooting for me through my entire student career and I know that without their help and support I may not have had the determination to make it all the way through,” says Money. “Chattanooga State had teachers dedicated to my success. They have smaller classes and provided one-on-one attention along with an open door policy that I really took advantage of,” she added. Regarding women in the engineering field, Ellen Money says, “ Don’t let the gender gap get in the way of your goals or be intimidated by a field dominated by men – stand strong and be tough. Don’t be afraid to show how smart you are. When you finish your degree, do something to help other women and girls in their path to a STEM career. Give them the encouragement to do what they love.” Finishing up her Chattanooga State academic career and following graduation with a degree in Civil Engineering from UTC in 2013, Ellen is now fully employed as a Design Civil Engineer in Dam Safety Engineering at TVA.