Lea Cook was managing a fast-food restaurant in Goose Creek five years ago when she decided she wanted a better work-life balance. She ended up becoming a trailblazer.
When Lea accepts her diploma this week, she will become one of the first members of Clemson University’s SPECTRA Transfer Program to graduate. The program provides scholarships to students who transfer from South Carolina technical colleges to Clemson, where they must major in engineering or computer science to be eligible.
Lea’s path to the graduation stage started at Trident Technical College in North Charleston. While she was interested in engineering, Lea was concerned her math skills were a little stale, and attending a technical college close to home carried lower risk than giving up her job and moving away for college.
Lea went on to earn an Associate in Science and enrolled in Clemson University, where she majored in computer engineering. She applied to SPECTRA and was accepted into the first cohort.
Lea distinguished herself during her time at Clemson. She was named the 2020-21 Rhodes Most Outstanding Junior in Computer Engineering and was a member of the Women’s Choir and the Clemson chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, the honor society for IEEE.