Student Spotlight: Sommer Meyer

Sommer Meyer
Sommer Meyer

STEM student awarded $2,500 MHTA Foundation Scholarship

Sommer Meyer, 19, an engineering, chemistry and liberal arts triple-major at Inver Hills Community College, was awarded a $2,500 Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) Foundation Scholarship for 2017. Sommer was one of 18 undergraduate students in Minnesota recognized with the award, which commends excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

“I was very honored to be recognized as one of the top STEM students in the state,” Sommer said. “I am grateful to the Minnesota High Tech Association for this scholarship.”

Originally from Eagan, Minnesota, Sommer graduated from Eagan High School in 2016. She’s a sophomore at Inver Hills and very active on campus. She serves as president of the Alpha Omicron Beta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

She is also the founder and president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Club on campus. She belongs to Engineering Club (she was a former club president), the LGBT+ Club, serves on Student Senate, belongs to TRIO Student Support Services and supports the college mission as a student ambassador.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

Sommer is earning her Associate of Arts (A.A.), her Associate of Science (A.S.) in Chemistry and her A.S. in Engineering Fundamentals at Inver Hills. She is on track to graduate in spring 2018. She is making plans to transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemical Engineering with a minor in German. She has narrowed her choices to the University of Rochester in New York and Northwestern University in Chicago.

“I visited the University of Rochester and was impressed by how beautiful the campus is,” Sommer said. “I really liked the school and I can also go on to earn an M.S. Alternative Energy at Rochester.”

Sommer’s career goals are centered on becoming a chemical engineer working with solar panels and other alternative energy sources.

“I’ve always liked math and science,” she said, “and I really enjoyed my chemistry classes in high school. I love problem-solving and knowing how things work at the molecular level. Becoming a chemical engineer gives me the opportunity to pursue my interest in alternative energies.”

In her free time, Sommer enjoys knitting, reading comic books, watching Netflix and volunteering at the Animal Humane Society. She has a cat named Kitty, 15, an “old boy” who is all black.

More about the MHTA Foundation Scholarships

By 2020, Minnesota will need an estimated 155,000 additional STEM professionals. As opportunities in this sector continue to grow, the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recognizes the importance of strong STEM education programs throughout the state. To celebrate the development of this sector, MHTA honors 18 outstanding students and two individuals who are adding to the success of STEM education in Minnesota.

MHTA has awarded $600,000 to 150 students pursuing undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines since 2007. The scholarships are supported by both the MHTA Foundation and various Minnesota technology organizations to encourage the growth of STEM professionals in Minnesota.

Courtesy of Minnesota’s Tekne Awards 2017

Sommer Meyer Q & A


Why did you become a student ambassador?
I love the campus and I wanted to be involved any way I can. I also want to help other students become more involved. I thought becoming a student ambassador would be a great way to do so.

What do you like best about your role as Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Omicron Beta chapter president?
Being able to work with the campus administration and community to better the college with our two annual projects. As the president, I get to watch over both the projects and see how they are coming along and what impacts they are having on the campus.

What do you like best about Engineering Club?
The networking and internship opportunities to become a better engineering student and a better future engineer. Our club is currently working on a Computer Aided (CAD) project. In the past, we worked on a rocket project and went on to compete at the state level. We also go on company and university visits.

What is your role in NAMI?
I started the club in the spring of 2017 and am the current president. I have led the club through the NAMIWalks event and Mental Health Awareness Week.

Sommer at 2017 Phi Theta Kappa Induction Ceremony

Sommer Meyer | 12 Answers


  1. sommer_qFavorite sport or physical activity: Quidditch
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Germany
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Went on an amusement park road trip in Ohio
  4. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Just keep swimming.”
  5. Favorite all-time TV show: The X-Files
  6. Favorite all-time movie: The Lord of the Rings triology
  7. sommer_wwOne thing you most want to accomplish in life: Help create a more sustainable world
  8. Most precious material possession: Does my cat count?
  9. Dream occupation: Chemical engineer
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Wonder Woman, the actual superhero or Gal Gadot
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: How to read faster (so I can finish more books!)
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Being unable to accept our differences

More about the MHTA Foundation

The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) Foundation fuels Minnesota’s innovation by providing resources for building a workforce educated in science, technology, engineering and math. Through fundraising events and donations from the local technology community, the Foundation supports the goal of the MHTA to make Minnesota one of the country’s top five technology states. Founded in 1985, the MHTA Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to educating the public about the importance of a strong, technology-based workforce.

MHTA helps bring together the people of Minnesota’s science and technology ecosystem and lead the charge in directing science and technology issues to Minnesota’s state capitol. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota’s entire science and technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size—involved in virtually every aspect of science and technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota.

You can follow MHTA on Twitter.

Courtesy of the MHTA Foundation

To learn more about earning an A.S. in Chemistry at Inver Hills, contact:

Adam Prowatzke
Chemistry Faculty

To learn more about earning an A.S. in Engineering Fundamentals at Inver Hills, contact:

Joan Z. Carter, PE
Engineering Faculty

To learn more about earning an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree at Inver Hills, contact:

Admissions Team
College Center

To learn more about Student Life and leadership programs at Inver Hills, contact:

Nicki Bottko
Associate Director of Student Life
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor

Jenni Yamada
Student Life Activities Coordinator
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor


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