Women of Distinction


Lauren Lacey

Lauren Lacey


  • Madison and Lila Self Engineering Leadership Fellow, 2008-‘12
  • Team Leader of 2012 Jayhawk Motorsports
  • 2012 Senior Class President
  • Assistant Director of Finance, KU Dance Marathon
  • Vice President, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, 2011-‘12
  • Vice President, Engineering Student Council, 2010-‘11
  • Vice President, KU Omicron Delta Kappa, 2011-‘12
  • Central Region President, National Association of Engineering Student Councils, 2009-‘11
  • Engineering Ambassador, 2010-‘12
  • Treasurer, KU Wakeboard Club 2010-‘11
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
  • Intern at Honeywell FM&T, Summer 2011
  • Intern at Burns & McDonnell, Summer 2010 and 2009
  • Mortar Board, 2011-‘12
  • School of Engineering Dean’s Honor Roll, 2008-‘11
  • KFC Colonel’s Scholarship: National Recipient, 2008-‘12
  • Toyota Scholarship: National Recipient, 2008-‘12
  • ELK’s Scholarship: National Recipient, 2008-‘12
  • Missouri Masonic Lodge Scholarship: State Recipient, 2008-‘12
  • Sells Mechanical Engineering Scholarship, 2010-‘12
  • Lindquist Award for Mechanical Engineering, 2011-‘12

How I became interested in my field:

Throughout my entire life, I have always been fascinated with solving problems that others thought were impossible to solve. As a child, my sister was diagnosed with several medical issues that some doctors said could never be fixed. After extensive research and time by dedicated doctors and researchers, cures were discovered for my sister. One problem in particular that my sister faced which fascinated me was her difficulty in walking. Her medical problem inspired me to pursue a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and to one day pursue a Doctorate in bio-mechanical engineering. With this education I hope to one day own a manufacturing firm which produces feasible medical devices for pediatrics.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me:

My most meaningful accomplishment during my time at KU would have to be founding a new event for the School of Engineering called E-Week. The event was created to bring awareness to National Engineering Week and begin to expose the engineering profession around the KU campus. E-Week is a week-long event in which engineering groups compete against each other in various engineering-related activities in the hopes of being awarded one of the travel engineering trophies. We had over 20 engineering groups participate in our inaugural year, and KU Engineering Student Council has decided to begin making this event a tradition at the engineering school.

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

I have always looked up to my grandfather, Thomas Lacey. After high school he served in World War II as a ground radio man for the US Army. Once completing his service, he went to a university to receive a bachelor’s in aeronautical engineering. He then worked for McDonald Douglas designing components for various fighter craft, which are still being used today. While working, he also raised and provided for 12 children. I have always looked up to how my grandfather was able to balance his career and family life and yet continue to have a need to learn more about the world around us.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:

My sister, Carolyn Lacey, has by far had the most significant impact on my life. She is the strongest and most motivated person I know. In grade school she had to face many medical problems that most doctors said she could never overcome. During this time, she never let her medical issues get in the way of who she was or what she could do. Her perseverance kept her strong and helped her to overcome what most doctors thought was impossible. Although I would like to think that I have been her rock in her life, in reality she had been the rock in mine.

My favorite KU memory:

My favorite memory thus far in my undergraduate career would have to be the entire 2011 KU Dance Marathon. We not only had over 400 KU students register for the event but we ended up raising over $37,000.00 for children receiving care from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It was truly inspirational to hear some of the children and families talk about their experiences while receiving treatment and how our efforts can help others in the same situation. At that moment, I began to realize the true power of KU students.

An important life lesson I have learned:

Although I am extremely focused on the future, I have learned the importance of taking in each day and truly living them to their fullest. It is the moments that you experience or share with others that bring true happiness to life. Don’t get consumed about your future, appreciate each day and enjoy what you do.

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know…

Keep true to who you are and don’t allow others to persuade you any differently. If someone says you can’t do something, prove to them that you can. Work hard on every project, test, and organization and truly show what you can accomplish. Finally, don’t wish for the next four years of your life to fly by. This may be the only time in your entire life that you can focus on yourself and begin to discover your true values.

A favorite quote or saying and why it is meaningful to me:

“If you never spread your wings, you will have no idea how far you can fly.” My uncle, Charlie Sun, once created a poster of me swimming the butterfly with this quote on the bottom of the poster. I looked at the poster almost every night before I went to bed and I began living my life to the quote. I learned that if you don’t take a chance on yourself or allow others to hold you down, you will never know what you could have been or could have accomplished.