Amy VincentAlthough Amy Vincent never thought about pursuing a career in electrical engineering, she knew how to solder at a young age.

“My dad was an electrical engineer, and I can remember watching him solder things on the kitchen table and we’d help him out,” she says.

And although she was impressed with the microwave towers her dad worked on, she was more interested in people, so at Arizona State University she got her degree in sociology with a minor in socio-cultural anthropology.

She also got hooked into student services early on — her very first job was with the registration office at Phoenix College. And she has since done “about every job in student services,” she says. Currently, she is an academic advisor for the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

“I like to talk to people and hear about what their interests are and help them learn how to be a successful college student, because that's a huge part of the student experience. It’s not just about what they are learning in classes,” she says.

She, along with Calvin Hughes, have the very big task of advising over 1,000 students, but they strive to give personal attention to all the students with help from faculty and peer advisors.

Additionally, Vincent enjoys writing which she often gets to do in her job, but she also worked as a freelance writer of marketing materials when she lived in Reno, Nev. Right now, graduate school is taking up all of her writing time, but she hopes to get back to writing about what she enjoys, such as music and cooking.

But, she saves plenty of time to spend with her son who, she says, “Has a lot to say about everything and wants to be doing something all the time.” So, they are often out riding bikes, hiking, or geo-caching when he is not playing basketball or doing Aikido.

It seems the apple did not fall too far from the tree because Vincent also likes to be learning about all kinds of different things. Once she finishes her graduate degree, she is looking forward to taking some classes in computer science.

And she’s hoping to learn more about her “office pet” — a TekBot, a robot she inherited from the electrical and computer engineering program which students use as part of their coursework. One of the EECS professors has offered to teach her how to build one, and she is ready to try it to get a better idea of what the students are learning. But also, she says, “It just looks fun!”

“I’m really excited to work in this department because it’s innovative and interesting,” she says.

—By Rachel Robertson