Meet the 2009 Awardees
California Maritime Academy
At 28, Katherine Brookshier left behind a spa and fitness facility management career in the cruise industry to pursue engineering. She had no background in engineering, but knew from experience that she could handle obstacles: Growing up in poverty, Katherine started working at 14, barely graduated high school and was so poverty stricken during cosmetology school that she lived in a tent for six months.
Katherine is now a junior at California Maritime Academy majoring in mechanical engineering with U.S. Coast Guard Third Assistant Engineer's License option. She still consults for the fitness company and also works on the Cal Maritime campus. During the summer, she has spent time at sea working on ship's engine rooms as part of her degree requirement.
After graduation, Katherine plans to return to sea to gain more knowledge of marine propulsion plants and to upgrade her license to chief engineer. Ultimately, she would like work for a shipbuilding company in design and construction.