Alexis Lappe represents and leads STEM minorities and volunteer opportunities on campus

Alexis Lappe serves as a leader at UWEC as a campus ambassador, honor student, omtech president and computer science major

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UW-Eau Claire student paves the path for minorities in STEM and on campus.

A fourth-year computer science student, Alexis Lappe is paving the path for women and minorities in STEM, serving as both a leader and example for Blugolds to follow in years to come. 

Dr. Heather Fielding, director of the university honors program, had nothing but positive remarks about Lappe. 

“When I think about Alexis, she’s been a really outstanding and impactful student leader here on campus,” Fielding said. 

Throughout her time at UW-Eau Claire, Lappe has become a well-established student as the president of Omtech, the Organization for Minorities in Technology, and Lappe has been able to make a difference in the STEM fields before graduating.

In addition to this, Lappe is involved in University Honors, serves as a campus ambassador, is a current member of the Honors Student Steering Committee and currently serves as an Honors Mentor teaching first-year students this fall semester. 

When Lappe was first preparing to come to UW-Eau Claire, she said she had no intentions of studying computer science, let alone being one of the STEM leaders on campus. 

Going into her senior year of high school, Lappe said she was declared as a graphic design major. When a family friend showed her how to front-end code, she fell in love with the process. She changed her major to computer science, despite having never taken a course. 

“I had never taken a single coding class in my entire life, so it was a little bit scary to walk into campus into this really difficult major and sit in class with a bunch of students who I knew had spent the last four years coding,” Lappe said. 

Despite this, Lappe came into UW-Eau Claire to find a community of Blugolds that would inspire her for years to come. 

“Omtech was a huge help in building a community on campus,” Lappe said, “because I walked in and all these seniors and juniors saw this very scared freshman, and I was like ‘teach me everything you know.” 

Throughout her years on campus, Omtech has remained an important role in Lappe’s life and leadership on campus. She is now the president of the organization, following in the steps of a role model of hers when she was a first-year student. 

Lappe said former president of Omtech, Lauren Elena Diol was a big role model to her when she came to UW-Eau Claire. Lappe said that Diol was someone she looked up to from the beginning, and guided her through many obstacles. 

This importance in having female and minority leaders, both as professors and upperclassmen students, was a driving force in Lappe’s college career and helped inspire her to continue sharing the love, she said.

“If I didn’t have the fantastic female role models, both in the professors and upperclassmen students, I would have been terrified,” Lappe said. “Having someone to look up to and ask for advice is so important in helping you feel like you belong, and like you can do it.”

Lappe noted this played a big role in her involvement in Omtech. Being able to provide a space for students to have a community on campus, where everyone is experiencing the same feelings and able to bond and succeed despite these feelings. 

“As a woman, it’s very intimidating to walk into a classroom of 40 men and there’s only three other women there,” Lappe said. “So, it’s nice to be able to walk into a club where it’s people who understand what you’re going through in your classes and your daily experiences.”

In addition to this, Lappe works as a campus ambassador, and said she feels it is important to help students find a place they feel they will belong no matter what.

Fielding noted that the combination of Lappe’s involvement on campus goes beyond just coursework, but really makes a difference in organizations’ and students’ experiences overall. 

“These are real leadership experiences where you are not just learning about things, but actually making decisions and helping to impact the lives of other students,” Fielding said. 

Beyond UW-Eau Claire, Lappe said she intends to continue making a difference as she graduates in December and heads into the workforce.

Lappe will be working at Travelers Insurance in St. Paul, MN and plans to become involved in their diversity and inclusion networks, specifically women’s diversity and inclusion.

She hopes to return to UW-Eau Claire and Omtech as an alumni mentor, to not only help students get connections and branch out, but also to achieve their goals to get where they want to be in life.

Lappe also emphasized the importance of following your passions throughout life, no matter what they may be, and regardless of what you came into college studying. 

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected]