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Brandy Manka—Learning Is Getting Your Feet Wet

Brandy Manka appreciates that she’s been a part of the storm water analysis project at Second Creek since its beginning—from design to installation to running the earliest samples.

“It’s an experience I don’t take for granted,” she says.

The civil and environmental engineering senior got involved in research during her first year at UT, thanks in large part to RISER—Research and Instructional Strategies for Engineering Retention—a program that works to attract and retain women in engineering majors at UT.

“The people in the RISER program strongly encouraged me to find the right fit, and because of that I felt very at ease joining Professor John Schwartz’s research team in civil engineering,” Manka says. Schwartz’s work appealed to her because she was looking for hands-on outdoor field experience.

She’s not ready to leave the field anytime soon. As Manka enters her senior year, she’s thinking ahead to her master’s degree and says she already has project ideas for her graduate work.

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