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On the Spot with Kate Haslett

It was in second grade that UNH senior Kate Haslett discovered her love for hockey, but it wasn’t until she was 19 that she found a passion for civil engineering. With the clear hard work and dedication she exhibits towards both of these fields, Haslett exemplifies the notion that it’s possible to not only pursue multiple passions, but to also thrive while doing so.

Haslett, one of the captains of the UNH women’s ice hockey team, was recently named as one of the 10 “2017 New Faces of Civil Engineering” by the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE). 

The purpose of ASCE’s “New Face, Collegiate Edition” is to showcase young and talented individuals that show potential for a bright future in engineering while also highlighting the work and time they’re already devoted to the field, prior to their professional lives. One honoree per division (collegiate and professional) will be selected by the foundation DiscoverE this spring as the “New Face of Civil Engineering” and will receive a $1,000 cash scholarship. This year’s nominees show promise from locations across the map, such as Aniket Yadav from India and Santosh Pandey from Nepal.  

“It’s really neat that little Durham, New Hampshire is kind of on the map,” Haslett said. “I get to represent this area. I’m really honored to do that for UNH and for New Hampshire.” 

Haslett didn’t originally plan to major in engineering when she first came to UNH four years ago. She was redshirted during her freshman year due to an ACL injury and it took about eight months for her to recover and be cleared to play, but once she was back on the ice, she was typically there for four hours a day.  

“It’s a really continuous learning process, time management is huge,” Haslett said. “The life of the student athlete, regardless of your major, is very interesting in just that you’re typically running from practice, getting to class and trying to find that balance…it’s like having a fulltime job…[but] it’s something that you very quickly adapt to.”  

Haslett said that she feels that the support and motivation from the faculty and staff at UNH has served as a huge factor in her dedication to not only engineering, but also to hockey. 

“I’ve had faculty come to my games this year,” Haslett said. “It’s awesome to see them there, cheering me on. They’re rooting for me just as much in the classroom as they are on the ice and that’s something really special.” 

Because of the injury early on in her college career, which discounts her first athletic season at UNH, Haslett expects to graduate in May 2018 with a major in civil engineering and a minor in business, allowing her one more season on the team than originally planned. Afterwards, she hopes to continue building her knowledge in the field by earning her master’s degree at UNH. 

For now, Haslett is keeping plenty busy with her schooling, hockey, the Student Athlete Advising Committee (SAAC), Athlete InterVarsity (AIV), UNH’s Material Research Group, and, as if that isn’t enough, Haslett was recently elected as the vice president of UNH’s engineering honors society, Tau Beta Pi. Haslett said she is looking forward to stepping into the leadership role that comes with being vice president of the group.

“[Being named one of the New Faces of Civil Engineering] is truly a blessing and I’m humbled by it,” she said. “I’m really excited to kind of be that light for other students, especially girls, that it is possible to pursue engineering, but also have other interests. You can be an athlete, you can be a musician, you can be anything and still pursue engineering. It’s accessible to all students.” 

Spoken like a true inspiration, Haslett and her nine co-nominees are the embodiment of a bright and promising future for engineering.

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