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Women's History Month Spotlight: VU Instructor of Advanced Manufacturing Robotics and Mechatronics Marideth Boswell

Marideth Boswell photo

March 27, 2024

Vincennes University is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the exceptional women who contribute to our university community. These inspiring leaders include trailblazing educators and visionary administrators who motivate us to support each other, rise together, and create a future where every individual's potential is realized. Through this series, we honor and recognize the strength, achievements, and service of VU's women leaders. Together, we strive to foster a culture of encouragement and inspiration.

Driven by her passion for advanced manufacturing, Marideth Boswell '21 is breaking barriers and inspiring fellow females to enter the male-dominated career field as an Instructor of Advanced Manufacturing Robotics and Mechatronics at Vincennes University.

Boswell’s educational journey began at VU, where she enrolled in the Advanced Internship in Manufacturing (AIM) program. This unique program offers a two-year associate degree in Advanced Manufacturing Automation Technology with a concentration in Industrial Maintenance, allowing students to balance work and education seamlessly. During her time in the AIM program, Boswell’s dedication and talent were recognized and she was named ambassador for Indiana Manufacturing by Conexus.

After graduating from VU with an Advanced Manufacturing Automation Technology associate degree with an Industrial Maintenance concentration in 2021, Boswell embarked on her professional career with an internship at Nucor Crawfordsville, delving into the impressive world of project engineering. However, her time in the steel industry, led her to reevaluate her career path, ultimately leading her back to her alma mater.

With a strong desire to inspire and guide the next generation of manufacturing professionals, Boswell reached out to her connections at VU. Her proactive approach paid off, as she was offered a position teaching VU INFAME (Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) and Central Indiana INFAME students.

She thrives on the opportunity to instill a love for manufacturing in her students, encouraging them to jumpstart their careers through the programs offered by VU. With each lesson taught and every student inspired, Boswell continues to make a lasting impact on the future of advanced manufacturing.

Are there any stereotypes or biases you’ve encountered in your career that you wish would just disappear?

“A stereotype I would love to disappear is that a woman working in a man-dominant field is there to pursue the men. It was very hard to feel accepted by wives of the men, therefore especially awkward at company dinners! Women should support women, not judge them based on their career choice.”

What are some of the challenges you've faced as a woman in your field, and how have you navigated them?

“A big challenge I have faced with being a woman in my field has been some men thinking I do not have what it takes to learn or do a certain job. I was accepted and have learned a lot by many men, but there were a few who negatively singled me out in situations. To help with that, I spoke up more often about what I wanted to do out on the floor. If there was something to be fixed, I started to be the first in line to offer a hand in fixing it.”

What’s one thing you know now that you wish you would have known at the beginning of your career?

I wish 17-year-old me would have been prepared for the struggles I would face being in a man-dominated career. It is unfortunate, but there truly are men who judge based on gender.”

How do you strive to set an example for the next generation of women leaders?

“I want to share my experience with women so they know that it is perfectly sane to want to weld or be in a mostly male-dominated field. I want women to know that at any stage, it is just fine to get a career. Whether you have kids, have been out of school for five years, or you are nervous about a similar career, there are so many programs and opportunities for you! I will continue to reach out and give support. I also want to encourage them to stand up for themselves.”

Boswell also shared one of her favorite quotes.

“I raise up my voice — not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard... we cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” - Malala Yousafzai

Discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields and your perspective.

“Being in any STEM field, there will always be tons of diversity whether it’s age, race, or gender. You can learn a lot of great information from the older generation, and/or you can learn great tips and tricks from the younger generation. You may see few women and many men, and that’s where it comes to you for encouraging women to open their minds to this career. Regardless of race, age, or gender, make sure you are treated equal. Do not be afraid to speak up. If you feel harassed, stuck, or uncomfortable at a job, it is time to find a new one, with no shame. You deserve to be equal. Your gender does not define your worth.”

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