Ashley Hoffman entered West Virginia University fully intending to study biology. But then her lineage took over.
When Hoffman, a native of Fairmont, graduates Sunday (Dec. 14), it will be with a degree in industrial engineering. Its the same WVU degree three of her six siblings earned.
I started out as biology major because I wanted to be different from them,Hoffman said.My oldest sister is 14 years older than me; the next-oldest is 12 years older. Id visit the manufacturing plants where they worked and see what they did. They liked what they were doing. And while I was contemplating my choice of a major, my brother was in the industrial engineering program. He kept telling me about the faculty and all the opportunities that were out there. It helped me realize where I needed to be.
Hoffman, 23, didnt have a lag in her career path. After graduation, shes moving to Pittsburgh and joining Deloitte&Touche, a subsidiary of Deloitte, a global network that provides auditing, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax services to clients. Shell work as a business technology analyst, implementing technology to help businesses run more efficiently.
I feel like Im well prepared from my education and seeing the experiences of my sisters and brotherseeing their success,she said.Ive seen how theyve progressed and the different opportunities theyve been given.
Her parents, Martin and Carol, earned pharmacy degrees from WVU , as did her brother, Marty. But three other family members graduated in industrial engineering: sisters Jennifer Sivak, 37, and Heather Stemple, 34, live in Indianapolis and Ontario, Canada, respectively. Ryan, 25, lives in Anderson, S.C. Another brother, Matt, did not attend WVU .
Jack Byrd Jr., professor of industrial and systems management engineering, taught each Hoffman offspring. He said each sibling was an exceptional student.
They really have been and each in different ways,he said.Ashley is an incredibly bright student, and the whole family is incredibly bright.
Along with carrying a 4.0 GPA , Ashley Hoffman led a charitable effort, Trunk or Treat, in which industrial engineering students dressed in costumes and handed out candy from their vehicle trunks to local children. She also helped reshape some of the industrial engineering curriculum as a teaching assistant.
We had a course in efficiency studies that needed to be upgraded significantly to reflect whats current,Byrd said.Our labs were out of date, and we were not building skills that students needed. I asked Ashley to take over the course and implement the lab changes. She would carry those out, and at the end of each semester, wed go back over labs to see which ones worked and how we could best refine and update them. This semester, she mentored a student who will take her place, so things will carry over from Ashley to that student in the lab.
Byrd says Hoffmans presence in the program will be missed.
I dont think many students will leave an impact like she has,he said.Shes been a role model to our students. They all look to Ashley as a paragon for what they can be.