Paul and Jillene Hoffman credit their daughter Jennifer with inspiring their decision to support Missouri S&T – she joined OGS as a junior member immediately after graduating with her bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering.
For Jennifer Hoffman Sison, AE’11, giving back is nothing unusual. As an undergraduate, she served as student chapter president of Engineers Without Borders, traveling to Bolivia five times to work on community development projects.
She also interned with the U.S. Air Force and studied abroad in Spain to strengthen her minor in Spanish. After graduating in 2011, Jennifer went to work for Aero Engine Controls, an Indianapolis-based division of the Rolls-Royce Group.
“Jennifer always wanted to pursue a career in space,” says her father. “When she was 7 or 8, she started going to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. It was her dream to be an astronaut.”
When it came time look at universities, Jennifer had a strong interest in the University of Illinois, where her uncle who works for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. But out-of-state tuition costs were high.
“It came down to the value of Rolla as an in-state institution,” says Paul. “My daughter didn’t have to leave Missouri to get a world-class education.”
Today the Hoffmans share their daughter’s enthusiasm for Engineers Without Borders as donors to the organization. They are also charter members of Miners by Design and contributors to the Gavin Donohue Memorial Scholarship.
“We began contributing to Engineers Without Borders because of our daughter,” says Paul. “The experiences she had as a 19-, 20- and 21-year-old were fantastic. After she graduated and became involved as a donor, we decided to increase our own support to the OGS level.
Jennifer moved back to the St. Louis area last year and married a fellow S&T alumnus, Terrence John Sison, EMgt’07. She works as an engineer for GKN Aerospace, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of metallic, composite and engine products for the aviation industry. Terrence works in the St. Louis office of ABB, an international engineering company specializing in power and automation technology.
The Hoffmans look forward to attending future OGS events with their daughter and son-in-law. Meanwhile, there may be another Miner in the making. Their youngest son attended a Missouri S&T robotics camp two summers ago and just finished his freshman year in high school.