XCITE Program Inspires Young Women to Pursue Engineering

Before attending the LSU College of Engineering’s XCITE program, Alex Fuselier wasn’t sure what university she would attend, or what she would study. But after a week on campus this month, she said, she found “LSU is like a home to me.” What’s more, she said: “I learned that even though you select a certain engineering discipline, you can take that experience and knowledge in so many directions.”

Fuselier, a junior at Walker High School in Walker, La., was one of 30 young women who attended the eXploration Camp Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers (XCITE) camp, held July 12 through July 18.

XCITE is a residential program based on general engineering curriculum including science, technology and mathematics courses and offers fun-filled activities that allow young women to get first-hand experience of these theories in practice as they relate to the various engineering disciplines, said Terrica Jamison, assistant recruiting manager and the camp’s director. Additionally, each program participant experiences college life and interacts with LSU alumni and women who have made successful careers in engineering.

The participants also worked in teams to build an underwater robot and held a competition to see which team’s robot could collect the most pool rings and batons, Jamison said, and they took a tour of Marathon Petroleum Corporation, an oil refining, marketing and pipeline transport company, in Garyville, La.

“It was a huge success,” Jamison said. The students were engaged and well behaved, and many had positive things to say about their experience at the end of the program.

Isabella Bolayon, a freshman from Neville High School in Monroe, La., was one. She said XCITE taught her to “let my mind think and see everything more vividly, in a new way.”

“Delving into the vast and wondrous world of engineering opened my eyes to its incomparable importance,” she said. “Engineering influences our lives daily, in the most miniscule to colossal ways imaginable.”

Even the parents commented on the success of the program. In an email sent to Jamison, a pair wrote that the camp had “injected excitement into their daughter’s pursuit of engineering.”

“She had the opportunity to sharpen her leadership and team building skills while designing, building, coding and competing alongside her peers,” they added.


For more information, contact Sydni Dunn at sydnid@lsu.edu or at 225-578-5706. To see more photos from the XCITE camp, please visit the photo album on our Facebook page.