Lacaux, '07, Helps Prepare Student for Workforce
Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 10:31 AM PST
Tresha Lacaux, ’07, has always had a passion for creating things. Her career journey started in the family business of making stained glass windows. Looking to combine her creative thinking with her passion for engineering, she pursued a career in aerospace. “I have always had a passion for airplanes, so I made the career switch and enrolled at Virginia Tech where I studied aerospace and naval engineering.”
A few years into her studies at Virginia Tech, an opportunity arose for her family to re-locate to Seattle and Lacaux discovered Seattle University. “Seattle University did not offer aerospace degrees, but for my passions and what I wanted to pursue—to be able to understand mechanisms and structures of an aircraft—a mechanical engineering degree was a fantastic fit because it is so versatile,” said Lacaux. As an undergraduate, she loved Seattle U’s mission-driven lens, enjoyed valuable hands on-experience and developed personal connections with faculty. Through listening to guest speakers and working on her capstone project, Lacaux broadened her understanding of the professional applications of mechanical engineering.
Now an alumna, Lacaux continues to feel empowered by her SU education. “The mission-driven aspect of my education at SU continues to influence the way that I approach my work. It makes you think a lot more about the human element in engineering and innovation.”
Lacaux remains inspired to engage with the College of Science and Engineering. She serves on the Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory board where she reviews student capstone projects and provides feedback on the type of skills that newly graduating students need to have to become employed. She also helped shape the structural and mechanical engineering graduate curriculum and has volunteered to speak in classrooms. “One of my favorite things to do is come in and talk about what you can do with your mechanical engineering degree and the experiences that I’ve had.” Most recently, during the pandemic, she served as a speaker to give a perspective on the job market in her field and shared the outlook during an unprecedented time in the workplace.
“After one of my speaking sessions during the pandemic, students reached out to me on LinkedIn expressing their appreciation for my perspective. Anytime I can have a small, positive influence on someone is considered a good day in my book. It is one small way that I can give back to a program that offered me those same experiences,” said Lacaux.
Even with her increasingly busy schedule as the 787 Director of Airplane Level Integration, Lacaux still finds time to give back to the community that helped her gain her industry perspective. “One of the most important and valuable things that we can do as alumni is share how the knowledge you gain in the classroom applies in industry. Hearing real-life examples from the workplace and how what you are learning is used in different settings helped me and is really important for current students to hear.”
By giving your time and expertise, students are inspired and equipped to enter the workforce after their time at Seattle U. “I would always love to volunteer more. I find that whenever I make the time, I am so energized afterwards, and that it is worth it. Just being there to answer questions on a student’s mind is really beneficial,” said Lacaux.
Be a part of Our Moment for Mission: The President’s Challenge to help empower students and impact the world for the better by volunteering your time at a college, school or program that means the most to you. View a listing of volunteer opportunities on our website.