LITEing the way to the future

Aug 5, 2004

Accident reconstruction and biochemistry will be the topics of the "what I did on my summer vacation" essays for 35 girls this fall.

The 2004 Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) program drew young women from across the United States for the third year in a row. The 35 participants spent two weeks living on campus attending lectures and labs designed to give them a taste of college life at Kettering and introduce them to the variety of careers available in engineering and science.

This year's participants were:
Christina Abbruzzese, of Macomb, Mich.
Grace Butts, Grosse Point Woods, Mich.
Kaleen Canevari, Woodland, Calif.
Heather Coon, Laramie, Wyo.
Cassi Cucuel, Show Low, Ariz.
Brittany Cunningham, Washington Twp., Mich.
Caitlin Czajka, Muskego, Wis.
Karen Dernar, N. Royalton, Oh.
Andrea DeVries, West Olive, Mich.
Amber Ferguson, Swartz Creek, Mich.
Hailey Foco, Goodrich, Mich.
Brittany Goldsmith, Sterling, Col.
Amy Goshe, Tiffin, Oh.
Arnita Grolson, Detroit, Mich.
Katherine Grosteffon, Midland, Mich.
Rachel Harris, St. Louis, Mo.
Julia Ivanova, Schnechsville, Penn.
Loni Iverson, RSM, Calif.
Caitlin Klish, Nanticoke, Penn.
Jennifer Kosal, Swartz Creek, Mich.
Lauren Kreimer, Lincoln, Neb.
Melissa Lamb, Fenton, Mich.
Tiffany Laughlin, Mogadore, Oh.
Kristen McFalls, Shelby Twp. Mich.
Julia Melaragni, Livonia, Mich.
Renee Miller, Conway, Ark.
Michelle Mitchell, Jackson, Mich.
Jennifer Mynhier, Portage, Mich.
Alycia Nelson, Issaquah, Wash.
Jennifer Norman, Lake City, Mich.
Rachel Patrick, Florence, Ala.
Julie Reno, Warren, Mich.
Shannon Rissler, Westville, Okla.
Lauren Wheeler, Culver, Ind.
Sarah Whitman, Manistee, Mich.

Focused on bioengineering and chemistry, LITE gives young women entering their senior year of high school a chance to meet women engineers and scientists and learn about how engineers improve people's lives by applying math, science and technology to human problems.

This year's courses included:
Biomechanics - the study of the mechanics of the human body, and how bones and muscles work and why, taught by husband and wife team Dr. Patrick Atkinson, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Theresa Atkinson, independent crash test safety researcher.

Accident reconstruction and occupant kinematics - the study of auto-accident reconstruction and how occupants interact with vehicle safety systems, taught by Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Ergonomics - the study of how human beings interact with their environments, taught by Dr. Terri Lynch-Caris, assistant professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Biochemistry - the basics of biochemistry including the four main biomolecules: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids, taught by Dr. Stacy Seeley, associate professor of Chemistry.

In addition to the academics, participants also have a chance to get to know current Kettering students who serve as mentors to the program. Student mentors often taking unpaid leave from their co-op jobs to be LITE mentors.

The 2004 LITE mentors were:
Heide Echelberger, of Lucas, Ohio
Juniper Elliott, of Flint, Mich.
Katie Haggerty, of Sylvan Lake, Mich.
Suzanne Kayser, of Flint, Mich.
Lindsey Lloyd, of DeWitt, Mich.
Erika Perkola, of Sterling Heights, Mich.
Feba Pothen, of Waterford, Mich.
Nina Robinson, of Southfield, Mich.
Patty Stehlin, of Flint, Mich.
Erin Waddell, of South Lyon, Mich.

 Many LITE participants matriculate at Kettering because of their pre-college experience. This year, five young women from the 2003 LITE program enrolled in A-Section of the freshman class: Kim Avery, of Lake Orion, Mich., Jenny Baibak, of Clarkston, Mich., Jennifer Lucier, of Brampton, Mich., Olivia Nelson, of Weston, Mo. and Nicole VanDongen, of Columbiaville, Mich. Six more are slated to join the B-Section freshman class.

For more information about the LITE program, contact Betsy Homsher, director of Women Student Affairs, at 810-762-9540 or at

Written by Dawn Hibbard
(810) 762-9865