Get to know Alpha O with Mary Edwards! Mary is a sophomore from Dallas, Texas, studying mechanical engineering. She was nominated by her friend, Maddi Chappel, who said, "Mary Edwards was the first friend that I made when I got to Auburn, and she hasn't left my side since our first swap freshman year. She is one of the most thoughtful, encouraging, and loyal people I have had the honor to know and call my best friend. Crazy Mary is always there for me, whether it's giving me the advice I need to hear (but might not want to), being up for late night ice cream and french fry runs, watching the action and crime movies no one else seems to love as much as we do, or laughing with me until we cry. Mary has impacted my life in more ways than she will ever know, and there aren't enough words in the world to let her know how thankful I am for such a sweet friend like her!"
Describe yourself in 3 words:
One spunky nugget.
What’s the best trip you’ve been on?
"My favorite trip that I’ve ever taken is my trip to Kampala, Uganda. The purpose of my trip was to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing the Ugandan people, and I think that the most important takeaway from this trip was being able to come down and break down the societal stereotypes that surround Uganda. I think that regardless of the country, everyone will have pre-conceived notions about it, so I love that I’m now able to educate people on the true nature of the country. Uganda is such an amazing country full of so many diverse and welcoming people. From the moment I got off the plane I felt welcome and loved, and I think that was the moment that I feel in love with the country. Traveling to Uganda is actually the reason that I chose my major and is the reason that I am so passionate about it today. Kampala, Uganda’s capitol, is one of the most crowded cities in the country due to the mass influx of people the government was unable to establish drainage systems for rainwater. The week that I was in Kampala was during the rainy season, meaning that it rained almost everyday and because of the rain, people’s homes and businesses were constantly flooded because there was no where for the water to go. This is a huge problem with a fix as easy as funding and creating pipes to ease the flooding. I hope that as a mechanical engineer, I will be able to help fix this problem as a thank you to the Ugandan people for so warmly welcoming me into their country."
What's your favorite thing you're involved with at Auburn?
Engineers without Borders! It has given me such a great opportunity to take what I learn in class and apply it to real world situations. The coolest part is that the club spends all year designing a project for a community in either Rwanda or Bolivia (typically a water system), and during the summer, a group of students is able to actually travel to the community and implement the system that was designed. Because global outreach is one of the things that I want to do with my degree, I think it’s so amazing that I have been able to get involved in a club that has allowed me to cultivate this passion.
What’s your funniest AOII memory?
During campaign week, my friend Maddi was trying to hype us up and in the process, got involved in a dance battle. Now let me tell you, Maddi worms like no other, so when it came to her turn to break it down on the dance floor, of course she whips out her signature move. It was so funny when she moved into those very impressive body rolls and suddenly knocked her chin on the floor. She then had a bruise on her chin for the rest of the week, but it was worth it because #WeCanWithKeck.
Tell us about coming to Alabama from Texas.
I have absolutely loved everything about Auburn and Alabama thus far, but if there’s one thing that I could change about it, it would definitely be the Mexican food. I was shocked to come to Auburn and hear about this so called “cheese dip.” Honestly the change in Mexican food might have been an even harder transition than the 700 mile move. Just saying, if anyone wants to try “real” queso, don’t be afraid to hit me up in Dallas.
"AOII means so much to me. Running home to AOII on Bid Day was one of the best possible feelings because I was able to find a home and find a family with these girls despite the fact that I was just some random girl from Texas. These girls were the first ones to make me feel truly welcome here on Auburn’s campus. One thing that makes these girls so special to me is that they are so unapologetically true to their selves, and I think that is so unique. I have made some of my very best friends here in AOII and some of my best memories. I have no doubt that choosing Alpha O was one of the best decisions of my life." -Mary Edwards