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Revving Toward Representation

On Terps Racing Team, More Women Than Ever Take the Wheel

By Jennifer Figgins Rooks

For the first time, women lead the engineering teams for both the off-road Baja and gas-powered Formula track racing teams of the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s award-winning Terps Racing—its student program dedicated to designing, building, testing and racing vehicles in collegiate design competitions each year. 

With an unprecedented level of women in leadership and more female students participating, the 200-member group is making strides to build a stronger community of inclusivity and diversity that is welcoming and supportive of its women engineers. 

Jessica Rosenthal, a senior in mechanical engineering, is captain of the team that designs, builds and races the gas-powered single-seat racecar, and Abby Meyer, a junior in mechanical engineering, helms the off-road Baja car team. Other teams in the student organization develop an electric formula car and conduct business operations. 

Member of Terps Racing driving a race car“Jess and I are very passionate about increasing the amount of women we have on the team and increasing our overall diversity,” Meyer said.

A more diverse team will pay off with real results, Rosenthal said. 

“I want to have a good car, and everybody else on the team wants a good car,” said. “At the end of the day, having a more diverse team, will help output a better car.”

Other women in leadership roles this year include Kristina Buttion, Formula testing sub-team lead and Ashley Lakey, Baja steering sub-team lead.

“I’m thrilled to have our female captains in Terps Racing,” said retired Navy Capt. Leonard Hamilton, adjunct associate professor and Formula faculty adviser. “Not only will their presence inspire more women to get involved, but I also appreciate their superb attention to detail and dedication to the team. Their persistence is necessary to keep the team on track.”

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