Since Kelly Thompson was a little girl, protecting the environment has been an avid passion of hers. Now, in 2009, she is a college senior at the University of Arizona and has taken an important step toward pursuing her passion, thanks to the help of the da Vinci Circle.
Thompson was recently selected as the 2010 da Vinci scholar in recognition of her academic achievements. Thompson is a senior earning dual degrees in chemical engineering and in molecular and cellular biology. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi and an officer in Omega Chi Epsilon. Thompson has organized several fundraising activities, including the donation of clothing to the Primavera Foundation, which promotes economic and social justice while fighting homelessness and poverty.
After graduation Thompson has a job lined up with Procter & Gamble, one of the largest consumer product manufacturers in the world. She hopes to use her knowledge and skills as an engineer to reduce the environmental impact of consumer manufacturing. “I think the role of an engineer should be to ask questions, especially on a large scale,” said Thompson. “How can we minimize the impact on the environment?”
Procter & Gamble has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 10 percent by 2012. “I won’t be vice president there in five or ten years, but I hope to move up the ranks and become one of the people who are setting up those policies,” said Thompson.
Besides being an engineer and an honors student at the University of Arizona, Thompson enjoys walking her dog and painting, but she says that’s about all she has time for. “When I get out of school I want to learn how to cook,” she said. But for the time being, her main priority will be focusing on graduation and her future job at Procter & Gamble.