Sabrina Stangler, a software engineering major from Madison, Wisconsin, is determined to open herself up to as many opportunities as she can. She was attracted to MSOE because of its smaller size, but she’s since discovered it also offers numerous ways to make a difference.

Through the Society of Women Engineers and Society of Software Engineers, Stangler actively promotes student events and women in STEM. She enjoys helping students with computer problems as a support technician at the IT Department’s help desk. And that emcee hovering around the mascot at Raider sporting events? That’s her too.  

As a freshman, Stangler entered the University Scholars Honors Program. For her honors project, she collaborated with two other students to develop a professional networking app for college graduates in Liberia that links them with prospective employers.

Stangler has now transitioned into the role of mentor and advisor to freshman honors students. She lives with and helps oversee a few dozen students at the Grohmann Tower apartments, planning events and offering guidance.

“Last year, it was a lot of learning, and now I’m surprised to see that I have something to offer,” she said. “It’s really cool to be in that advising position, helping a team with their honors project and seeing individuals progress and grow and get better.”

Stangler also serves as a senator in student government, helping to make decisions on issues that affect the student body. The opportunity to be that kind of change agent and leader is what piqued her interest in the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program. The chance to use skill sets such as design thinking, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation motivated her to apply. 

“I was already en route to make change on campus, working with student government and other groups” said Stangler. “This seemed like a nice way to get things done.”

As a Fellow, Stangler wants to create more study areas on campus, as well as maker and collaboration spaces. These spaces, she said, are critical to help bring interdisciplinary groups and projects together. “The maker space also provides a place for people to think creatively and have the resources to take off with an idea,” said Stangler.

Complacency is something she wants to conquer on campus. She hopes the Fellows can spur many more students to get involved in new and positive initiatives.

Stangler enjoys the challenges that come with leadership roles and problem solving. That’s why she chose to major in software engineering.  “I like the opportunities it will provide. It sets me up well to jump into more leadership positions—heading projects in a company or developing my own ventures,” she said. “It’s just a good foundation to have.” Stangler participated as an innovation consultant with The Commons, an initiative that gives area students entrepreneurial experience. She worked on projects for Manpower Group and Briggs and Stratton. She is also a software engineering summer intern at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.