In 2020 MSOE spearheaded a desk drive to provide local K-12 students with proper workspaces to accommodate virtual learning at home during the pandemic. Students, faculty and staff contributed to the project which was led by the CREATE Institute and CREATE student fellows, including Anne-Marie Warren ’22, who inspired future students to get involved.

“I look up to Anne-Marie as my role model and I wanted to become a CREATE student fellow just like her. I wanted to be involved on campus and CREATE sounded like a perfect fit for me,” said construction management junior Olivia Swain.

Following in Warren’s footsteps, Swain joined the CREATE student fellows this year and is excited to help other students find their entrepreneurial spirit. “I work in the Nelson Prototyping Lab and assist students with the 3D printers and show them everything we have to offer in the space.”

The Nelson Prototyping Lab within the Cove is one of the many maker spaces on campus for students to learn, collaborate and create projects utilizing the tools within. The CREATE student fellows are available to assist students with the equipment within the lab and serve as ambassadors and peer-mentors to foster the MSOE mindset and ensure graduates are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.

CREATE student fellows also have the benefits of working with and learning from CREATE Institute staff. These strong and unique relationships are one of Swain’s favorite aspects of being a fellow. “I’m most excited about working with and spending time with my coworkers and Natalie [Villegas] and Fabi [Ramirez Montoya],” said Swain. “They always make my day and I look forward to going to work because of how incredible they are.”

In addition to being a CREATE student fellow, Swain also is a member of the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE). The goal of NSBE is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

Swain is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland but has lived in Randolph, Wisconsin for the past few years. She chose construction management because she loves a good challenge and enjoys learning about construction safety and materials. Making connections with others in small class sizes plus the proximity to home made MSOE an easy decision for Swain. “My favorite part about MSOE is the small class sizes. Your teachers can really get to know you.”

When she’s not in school, Swain enjoys going to museums and farmers markets with her mom. She also has a huge sweet-tooth—you can always count on her to order dessert!