January Student of the Month Breaking with Stereotypes

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MARIETTA, OH (Jan. 19, 2017)--Brittany Reed grew up in the garage alongside her Dad. Some of her earliest memories are of her learning tools so she could help him under the hood. Her formative years turning wrenches was the beginning of her life's passion that ultimately led her to Washington State Community College (WSCC) to pursue a degree in Automotive Technology. In the classroom, her skill, desire, and overall zeal earned her recognition as January's Student of the Month.

In a profession that sees very few female mechanics (less than 1% of diesel mechanics are women), Reed is among a pioneering group blazing a trail for women in the garage. But she doesn't necessarily identify herself as an advocate for the future of women gear heads. "I don't think women should be more receptive to this career path, explained Reed. "I think women should do what makes them comfortable, and if what makes them comfortable is a man's career, don't be afraid to pursue it and do it well."

As part of a classroom requirement, Reed maintains a weekly blog. Her perspective, knowledge, and wit there make her a stand-out student beyond the classroom. Recently, her blog received national attention from the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) and Luscious Garage, a California-based female-owned service center that has been featured in prominent publications such as The New York Times. "Important people are taking note of what's she's doing," said WSCC Auto Diesel Assistant Professor Jeffrey Starkey. Carolyn Coquillette, owner of Luscious Garage, is currently in contact with Reed to set up a private tour of her shop in San Francisco.

"It's obvious she loves working on these big trucks. I see it in her work and how she conducts herself," Starkey said. "She's not intimidated by the gender expectation. She comes to class, tackles the work and proves herself worthy every day. She's definitely going places."

Reed acknowledges she has found success by following her heart. "The way I see it, to succeed you need to do what you're good at, get better at it and make a life doing what you love," she reasoned. She is working toward her Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology with an emphasis in Diesel Truck Systems and is considering expanding her education into engineering. Presently, Reed is enjoying an internship at McMahon Truck Center, but has long-term aspirations to move out West and expand her skill in performance vehicles and ultimately race top-performance dragsters.

For 45 years, Washington State Community College has fueled the community's future through education. We work to make a positive impact by providing opportunities for growth. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to enrich your life, we cultivate pathways to guide you toward future growth. Be inspired. Be WSCC. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.

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