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Women in Engineering: Paige Fischer

September 16, 2013

Paige Fischer is beginning her MS in Chemical Engineering.  She grew up in Arvada, CO and attended Ralston Valley High School.  She chose the University of Wyoming for the combination of a quality engineering education and competitive swimming program.  She quickly advanced through her undergraduate studies and on to graduate work by participating in the “Quick Start” program. 

The BS/MS Quick Start program in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (CPE) is designed to present highly qualified UW students with the opportunity to begin graduate study while they complete their Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Chemical and Petroleum engineering.  This program allows for early planning of the graduate portion of a student’s education and provides more flexibility in the number of required courses and the order in which they are taken.  Quick Start students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 in their undergraduate courses, 3.4 in their departmental courses and at least 3.0 in 5000-level courses to remain in good standing in the program. 

Aside from excelling in her academic studies, Paige has established herself as one of the Cowgirls’ best distance-freestyle swimmers.  As an undergraduate she competed in the 1650 freestyle, 1000 freestyle, 500 freestyle, and 400 freestyle relay.  Her strongest meet of her Junior season came at the Citrus Classic when she took first in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:33.13.  She finished second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 3:37.88 in this same meet.  This combination of academics and athletics led her to being named to the Academic All-Mountain West and a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete.

Paige began working with Dr. John Oakey the summer after her sophomore year.  Her research is focused on using photodegradeable polymers to isolate circulating tumor cells from blood samples.  By functionalizing the surface polymers, they are able to run blood across these surfaces and capture only the tumor cells.  Increasing the capture rate and efficiency of these cells will potentially allow for the early detection of cancer and the tracking of a patient’s prognosis during treatment of the disease.

Paige has recognized the significance of direct industry experience for early professionals to understand what is taking place in the frontlines of an individual field.  After completion of her MS she intends to spend a period of time working in private industry.  Looking down the road, Paige intends to pursue a PhD and eventually land back in the classroom, but instead as a university faculty member.    

Paige exudes a commitment and resolve in her academics and athletics that is inspiring and is the very definition of a student scholar and athlete.  The College of Engineering and Applied Science is proud to recognize Paige as one of the many outstanding students within the college.



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