Lee-En Chung, P.E. and Marylee Jenkins, both Board members, graduated in 1988. After working as a project engineer for The George Hyman Construction Company, Ms. Chung founded her own construction company, Ivy Ventures, Inc., in Sarasota, FL in 1992 and has developed Whispering Crane, a 37-home subdivision in Sarasota. Ms. Chung, a licensed general contractor and registered professional engineer, was appointed in September to the Construction Industry Licensing Board by Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Lee-En grew into her career: "My mother was an architect
and my father is a civil engineer, so I grew up in the world of
construction visiting job sites. The choice of becoming an engineer
seemed to be a natural one." Is it difficult? Yes, but "I
think I'm a successful builder because I am a woman. I can show
compassion and it's OK."
Marylee, a partner in the New York firm of Robin, Blecker & Daley, is a registered patent attorney and specializes in computer law and intellectual property issues involving the Internet and New Media. She chose law school over a master's program in mechanical engineering, "a difficult decision" she admits, but "I love what I do. I get to see all the latest technology and to be creative with technology in ways that protect it and protect those who develop it." Particularly with respect to Internet concerns, she represents the American Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section to the Intellectual Property Constituency of ICANN and before the U.S. Department of Commerce on domain name issues.
And her engineering education? "My specialty remains a male
bastion. When I say I am a patent attorney with an electrical/mechanical
technical background, they are surprised. They usually assume I
am a trademark attorney, which requires no technical background."
The youngest member of the Board of Managers is Kelly Lenz '97, a biomedical engineering graduate who hopes to attend medical school. She is project coordinator for a New York City Department of Health research project to assess details of pediatric fatalities. She works out of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Kelly never expected to be a practicing engineer. "I just knew I wanted to have the background of an engineer and to be able to think like an engineer," she said. "Being one of only a few women helped me because I am not easily intimidated."
Kelly summed it up: "The good part about Columbia is that it is a microcosm of the real world. It has every social class, every ethnic group. You can't make a blanket statement. You have to defend your position and articulate it well. Columbia has an enormous group of students willing to engage in intellectual discussion and debates. You just don't find that in strictly engineering schools."