Lisa Ingham - Engineering Management Student and Pom Squad Member

  • Name: Lisa Ingham

  • Education: Junior EMIS and Mathematics Student at Southern Methodist University
  • Target Audience: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School

Lisa Ingham excels on the field and in the classroom as an Engineering Management student and a member of the Pom Squad! She loves dancing and she loves STEM subjects, and she shows that you can do both if you truly love both! For Lisa, efficiency is key in getting all her work done!

Why did you choose your major? Did you always know that this is what you wanted to study?
I chose EMIS because I always liked Science but I didn’t want to do Biology or Chemistry so I think that EMIS is really good because it teaches you Computer Science, which is huge with the way the world is going. EMIS is not at all what I thought I wanted to study. I wanted to be a vet growing up but then when I was applying to colleges I realized that I maybe didn’t want to be a vet. Then I was introduced to industrial engineering and how they make things more efficient. I have always disliked how things were inefficient so I thought it would be a good thing for me to go into because I’ve always liked making things more efficient when I see people doing things inefficiently. I end up telling them “try it this way” and they always say “oh my gosh thanks.” I’m just an efficient person.

What is your main role on your team/band/squad?
On our squad, my main role is probably the technique side of things. Ive danced since I was three and went on to dance super competitively like at camps. Most of the girls on my squad only did drill team in high school so because of my larger dance background I try being there to help critique the girls in a positive manner so they can continue improving their technique. Not only does it help us place better but also it helps keep it light and on the fun side by trying different techniques sometimes. It keeps practice different keeping a positive attitude around as a leader. 


What does your average day look like? (Class, practice, games, etc.)
We have practice every day. On Mondays and Wednesdays we have morning workouts, then I have class from 10 AM to 12 PM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when I have my EMIS class and then calculus. Mondays I get to be free from 12 PM until 5 PM, then chapter for my sorority, Tri Delta, then a night lab. Tuesdays, my busiest days, I have class from 8 AM to 11 AM then a quick lunch break, then a 12 PM to 3:20 lab, then practice from 4 PM to 7 PM, then I have suite meetings until 8, and finally a sorority meeting until 9:30. Wednesdays are usually for homework and getting my life together after Tuesdays. Thursdays I have class from 8 AM to 11 AM and practice once more from 4 PM to 7 PM. Fridays I’ll have practice if there is a home football game from 2 PM to 4 PM on the football field. Saturdays are for football games and running around everywhere. Sundays are left for sorority meetings and homework. 

Do you apply what you learn in the classroom on the field/court?
I would say yes and no. Obviously I cant physically apply all the math and science to it but I think both Pom and EMIS require teamwork and time management. In the engineering field, everything that you do is never alone but always with groups in group projects. As I keep interviewing for engineering internships for this summer, all of them have told me that there is individual aspects to a group project but it is all always going to be a in a group, teaching me that there is going to be different leaders in different situations based on people’s strengths and really just utilizing your friends also on a teamwork level. You have to figure out people’s strengths just to get work done in the most efficient way and in the best way possible, which is very important. Also, I have learned the importance of staying positive, especially if school work isn’t going well I can go to practice to get my mind off of it and come back to it later with a fresh eye. That way I can see what went wrong and not just sitting there thinking “I messed this up” and only staring at it. Instead I know just to go to practice and come back to it, which is really important in a the Pom squad and telling your team, “Okay, let’s just go get some ice cream and come back to it” because you can just waste a lot of time sitting there frustrated. 

What's your biggest sacrifice trying to do it all (school, sports, family, etc.)?
I would say yes and no because it’s a big balance of time management. Some weeks I might want to go out with my friends because I feel like I've just been studying the whole time so sometimes I have to give up some sleep or an hour of homework just to make sure I’m keeping up with friends cause sometimes that can go out the window without me realizing it.  It isn’t too bad because I can still text them but sometimes I don’t see them in weeks because I’ve been so busy. Sometimes, especially with POM, I have to miss out a lot on typical sorority events sometimes because they conflict because POM has some rules. I have to go to sleep early before boulevard days, which is totally understandable because staying up all night then cheering all the next day doesn’t correlate well. I have to pick and choose so I can balance but it isn’t always the easiest.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I honestly have no idea which is pretty typical. I might be working somewhere where I can climb the ladder quickly because I work really hard, I like suggesting new ideas and helping others. I might just be climbing without realizing it at that point because it will be in a job that I really love and working with people I really enjoy, which is my main goal. Hopefully, in 10ish years, I’ll be starting to build a family and a long term home. In the short term I would like to live it up and travel and get it all out before the family life comes because I don’t want to have to travel and leave them behind so hopefully by then I’ll have a job I really enjoy. 

Do you have any suggestions for how kids can balance STEM interests and sport interests? Any courses you can recommend students to take before college?
For balancing, the biggest suggestion I’d have would be finding something that you truly love. If there is something that you’ve always done your whole life but maybe don’t love then don’t try to balance it because it gets really frustrating but if you really love a sport maybe don’t do varsity but find side club. For me, a lot of people ask me why I’m not a dance major if I love dancing that much and its because I would rather do it as a hobby so I picked POM squad instead. Finding the right niche of what you like to do helps the most with time management, especially talking with an advisor, teacher, or older person. Because I have to miss class a lot I talk a lot with my professors and go to their office hours. Its a lot of communicating, which would be my best tip along with having a good relationship with those that can help you. The biggest trick into doing that is emailing your professor if you were really tired during class and going into their office to have them explain it again. The biggest classes that helped me in high school were the upper level math classes and retaking them in class. Might sound like a waste but you get to understand the material better and helps you accommodate to the college lifestyle because it is a lot less intimidating since you’ve already seen the material but you learn how college professors work and how college tests are. Even though people usually stray away from that, I would say that was one of my best decisions because it was nice knowing that I had a class my first year of college that didn’t scare me away from the STEM majors and failing the required math courses. 

What was your favorite class growing up?
I’ve always loved Math. 

Are you a first generation college student?

Fun Fact?
I’m from Nebraska! Oh, and I play the saxophone after playing in the marching band in high school. I’ve gotten to see both sides of the spirit spectrum.