Alumna Got her STEM Start at SUNY Ulster

Alethea Shuman ‘2010, Drafting and Design,
Phi Theta Kappa

Close relationships with her professors kept Alethea (Schaeffer) Shuman coming back to SUNY Ulster – even after she transferred to RPI.

Starting when the Stone Ridge resident took classes during high school to when she graduated with a drafting and design associate’s degree with distinction in 2010, Alethea has had a special connection with the faculty here that she hasn’t experienced at other colleges.

“I had such a good experience at SUNY Ulster,” she says. “I really connected with the professors and they prepared me for RPI. I didn’t make as close of connections anywhere else.”

After earning a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2013, Alethea landed her first full-time job in the field at Selux, a design and innovative leader in the development of high-end architectural lighting systems in Highland.

Starting as a design engineer, she was promoted to engineering lead and now manages a team of drafters, design and manufacturing engineers tasked with developing and pricing custom products for customers’ unique needs.

While working full-time at Selux, she also is pursuing her master’s in engineering management online at Clarkson University.

Over the years, Alethea has returned to SUNY Ulster to take classes because of the “amazing professors,” crediting Drafting Professor Sal Ligotino for giving her the drafting background she needed to succeed at RPI and Math Professor Jules Albertini for the strong math basis for engineering.

As a woman working in the expanding STEM field, Alethea offers this advice: “Females shouldn’t be intimidated. There are challenges but nothing that can’t be overcome and it’s worth it.”

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