The Class of 2019

Jean Christy

Senior Engineer, Tighe & Bond Inc.; Age 39
Education: UMass Amherst (BS)

Jean Christy

Jean Christy

What did you want to be when you grew up? An architect — so, not too far off. I have always been a very technical person with a tendency toward drawing and design, and math and science always came easy to me. I started my college career in architecture, but quickly changed to civil engineering. It’s been a rewarding field for me; I have the opportunity to explore my creativity in design work while having the tried and true engineering principles and practices as my foundation.

What are you passionate about? Type 1 diabetes awareness and our nonprofit, Three’s Company T1D Support. Having three children with type 1 diabetes is a daily challenge. The kids feel ostracized, as they have different needs than their peers, and we often hear them say they hate diabetes (we all do!). Our goal is to allow kids with type 1 diabetes feel equal and not labeled ‘the diabetic kid.’ While we are still in our infancy, our mission is to assist with sending kids to diabetes camp and raising awareness in local sports programs so diabetes is less of an identifier. The type 1 diabetes population is ever-growing, and, while it is a serious disease with potential deadly repercussions, it is manageable with education.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? This may sound silly, but it’s Hermione Granger. We’re big Harry Potter fans in our house, and even though she’s young when we meet her, we can imagine that she becomes a strong-willed and motivated woman who is confident in her abilities but understands there are times when you need help from your friends. She’s an advocate for those without a voice or social status to elevate a cause. She’s a perfectionist and a pleaser, but fearless in the face of adversity when forced to make a choice between right and wrong.

Whom do you look up to, and why? It’s a pretty standard answer, but my parents. It’s because of them I have my work ethic and integrity. I saw my parents balance careers, higher education, community involvement, and active children. I learn by example, and both my parents, and their parents before them, set excellent examples for me, which I am trying to pass on to my children.


Photography by Leah Martin Photography