Jade Mantell - Integrity
Jade Mantell is the only woman on the Baja Society of Automotive Engineers Aggie racing team.
“I can create a plasma cutter to cut sheet metal, I can operate all the sheet metal tools, I can weld, I can machine and now I’m one of the leaders on the team,” Mantell said.
The senior mechanical engineering student has been a member of the university’s Baja SAE team for two years and serves as this year’s project manager. Baja SAE is a collegiate engineering design competition where members design and build cars from the ground up and race them against other Baja teams.
“I really feel like the work that I do, especially on the Baja team, is great for women in engineering because we’re a minority,” she said.
Before attending A&T, Mantell spent one semester as an education major at another university. She eventually dropped out on the premise of finishing school later. After taking a year off and giving birth to her son, Mantell decided to enroll at a two-year college. When she completed her two-year degree program the Winston-Salem, N.C., resident made the decision to attend North Carolina A&T State University.
“When I decided I wanted to be an engineer I looked at my options. At the time I was not in a position to move away from home. I would have to commute and A&T was the only reasonable commute from Winston,” she said.
“I came here out of necessity and I honestly planned on transferring,” she admitted. “Once I got here, I was impressed by all of the programs and how much the teachers were involved,” Mantell expressed.
In the future Mantell wants to work in the racing business. She is interested in doing research and development for NASCAR, which would include rebuilding and optimizing engines and testing new technologies. For now, she is focused on graduating in the spring.
“I came back to school when my son was five weeks old. When I walk across that stage I’m going to feel like everything I’ve worked for is for him. I came back to school for him,” she said.
Mantell shared that her journey has been a “wild ride” but, now she wakes up every day with thoughts on how she can excel in class, in her research and on the Baja team.
“If you put forth every effort that you can put forth, you’re going to excel,” she said.