Lauren Virginia Simitz McCormick ’21, chemical engineering, is from Walnut Creek, California. In high school, she was class valedictorian and received her district’s highest math award. At Northwestern, she was on the dean’s list with honors for fall and winter quarter. In freshman year, she was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Environmental Engineering Department and received a design award with her team for a solar-powered car. She was selected for the University of California Berkley’s graduate business program for aspiring entrepreneurs and aspires to be an environmental expert, investigating sustainable technology and creating green legislation. She plans to pursue graduate work abroad that focuses on the preservation of health and the planet. Being female and Native American has led to challenges for Simitz, who describes her tribe as viewing chemical engineering as a way the oil industry threatens their way of life. She reports male colleagues and her research group treating her differently because she is a woman. She has sought support by working with the student government and the Society for Women Engineers.