Recent Valpo graduate Krista Stribling ’18 has been named a 2018 Laureate of the Tau Beta Pi Association, one of just two students across the nation to be recognized in the association’s annual program and joining an elite group of 107 exceptional Tau Bates chosen nationally since 1982.
”Krista is a well-deserved recipient of the Tau Beta Pi Laureate award,” says Eric W. Johnson ’87, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. “Academically, she was an outstanding student, and as a co-founder of the student service organization WAVES (Working Across Vocations Everywhere through Service) she has left a legacy for students not only in engineering but across campus.”
Valpo’s College of Engineering is recognized as one of the nation’s finest undergraduate engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report, ranking among the top 20 nationwide. It has a long-established tradition of excellence, with Krista becoming the fourth Valpo graduate to receive the Laureate distinction since 2010. She joins former Valpo Laureates Jaclyn Kondratko ’10, Kyle Zobeck ’12, and Ben Macy ’13. Iowa State is the only university with more Laureate award winners in that same time period, with five. In addition, 13 Valpo students have been honored as Tau Beta Pi Scholars and one has been named a Tau Beta Fellow in the past two years.
Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, selects up to five Tau Beta Pi students as Laureates annually who have demonstrated excellence in areas beyond their technical majors, with award categories including arts, athletics, diverse achievements, and service. Krista received the Laureate distinction due to her service achievements.
“I’m really excited by this selection because it shows that servant-leadership can be a very real and influential part of the engineering profession,” Krista says. “I am hopeful that young women somewhere see two female faces recognized by the national engineering honor society and think ‘cool, I can do that too’ because too many women are told that they can’t.”
The Laureate program was established to further the mission of Tau Beta Pi to recognize academic and professional excellence rooted in personal integrity. The program selects individuals who demonstrate the “spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges.”
A native of Greenfield, Wisconsin, Krista graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a minor in humanitarian engineering. At Valpo, she immersed herself in campus life, dedicating herself to the service of others and serving as a leader and role model for her fellow students. As a member and former treasurer of the Indiana Delta chapter of Tau Beta Pi at Valpo, Krista participated in many volunteer activities including planning of Engineers’ Week. And, in 2017, she was recognized as a Tau Beta Pi Scholar.
Krista was the president of WAVES, formerly Engineers Without Borders, a service-based organization working to meet basic human needs and improve quality of life through sustainable projects. She has traveled twice to Haiti to work on a long-term project to bring renewable energy to an orphanage and three times to Nicaragua to assist in the development of a concrete water tank to supply a village with clean water.
In 2016, Krista took part in the CAPS Fellows Program, which helps students to discern their sense of calling and purpose in society through professionally relevant, socially engaging fellowships that are rooted in reflection. As a CAPS fellow, Krista interned with Water to Thrive, where she researched the best practices to be used by in-country organizations in the construction and implementation of water projects, with particular attention on borehole well construction. This internship brought her to nearly 40 construction sites in Ethiopia and Uganda.
“There are many universities where I couldn’t have had the multidisciplinary service experience that I had at Valpo,” Krista says. “And, I am forever grateful for those opportunities.”
Krista was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, played club tennis and intramural sports, volunteered as an usher in the Chapel, and served as a Hesse Scholar, tutoring her fellow engineering students.
After graduating in May, Krista headed to Weno, an island in the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia, where she serves as a chemistry and English teacher, a college counselor, and a coach for girls basketball and volleyball at Xavier High School as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). Krista anticipates that completion of her two-year program with JVC will be followed by pursuit of a graduate degree.
Though unable to attend due to her commitment to JVC, Krista and her fellow Laureate will be honored at Tau Beta Pi’s 113th annual convention in Denver and presented with a $2,500 cash award as well as a commemorative plaque.