Local High School Students Tour Wellesley’s Science Center Construction Project

February 2, 2019
A group of young women take a tour of the science center construction project

On January 3, Wellesley welcomed a group of young women from Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester, Mass., to visit the College’s Science Center construction project. They learned how the work is being done and met with women who are playing key roles in the process.

The students reviewed the overall schedule of the project and the phases of work, and they toured all areas of the Science Center project to see the meticulous planning that goes into coordinating each phase. They also spoke with women leaders at the site, including engineers and superintendents.

Alison Stanton, regional director of community and citizenship for Turner Construction Company, which is overseeing this project, said the site visit was an ideal opportunity to expose these young women to the career options within their industry.

“Construction is usually thought to be a man’s job, but women can have careers in construction too,” said Stanton. “They can be engineers, architects, or work in the trades. By coming onto a site and meeting women who are very much involved in building, they might be inspired to consider a career in construction.”

The outing was part of Turner’s YouthForce Program, which develops and strengthens all students’ skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.

Michelle Maheu oversees phases of the Science Center project and is the director of planning, design, and construction at Wellesley. Working with these young women from Jeremiah E. Burke High School reminded her of her own female mentor, who supported her during her early career and showed her how to earn respect, lead, and be successful.

“Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is not always easy,” she said. “When I joined Wellesley College 10 years ago, I was amazed at the difference on this campus compared to several other colleges where I had worked. We look to create real opportunities to connect women with the design and construction industry.”

Maheu smiled as she concluded, “But then, Wellesley has been preparing women to succeed in any and every field for nearly 150 years.”