Engineering Graduate Gives Back
Article by Josh Nishimoto, University Communications & Marketing
In the fall of 2009, Kimberly Jasper was thinking about dropping out of the University of Idaho and just going home to Boise.
But Dr. Ken Noren, a professor in the College of Engineering, stepped in.
“He listened to my concerns and asked the right questions. He never gave up on me, even though I was failing his class halfway through the semester,” Jasper said. “I would not have stayed in school and had the career I have now if it weren’t for him.”
Jasper stuck with it and graduated in the spring of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Now 27, she works as a project engineer for Glanbia Foods, a cheese manufacturer based in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Jasper said the influence of professors like Noren, who died in 2012, and the support of her Kappa Delta sorority sisters were crucial in helping her achieve her career goals.
“I loved being in the Greek system,” Jasper said. “It’s where I made lifelong friends and where I met my husband, Nate.”
After graduating from high school in 2006, Jasper decided that the University of Idaho offered her everything she was looking for, and more.
“It has a great engineering college,” Jasper said. “Plus, the campus is nestled in the heart of rural Idaho, which provided me access to all the outdoor activities I crave.”
Jasper’s time at UI gave her access to the right technology and the practical skills needed to launch her career.
Additionally, her sorority introduced her to leadership roles and offered opportunities to engage with her peers in community events and activities, such as intramural sports.
“There was a group of us that participated in almost every intramural sport offered,” Jasper said. “I remember bonding with my sorority sisters while walking to and from the games.”
Jasper was vice president of public relations for the sorority, which gave her confidence to take on other challenges, such as serving as the communications lead for the Vandal Atmospheric Science Team (VAST). The VAST project involved students sending a high altitude air balloon up in the sky in order to collect scientific data in near-space. Jasper oversaw the project from start to finish, utilizing the practical engineering skills she gained at UI — the same skills she now uses in her daily job to solve problems and help others reach their goals.
Jasper has been successful, but she can’t help but think of what would have been had she not had the support she received from her UI peers and professors.
She’s already giving back in gratitude by supporting Noren’s memorial scholarship fund, a fund that will provide $1,000 in student scholarships annually once it meets its fundraising goal.
“Dr. Noren’s scholarship has not met its goal, yet,” Jasper said. “I want to help get it there.”