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Mercy Education Shaped Engineer

February 01, 2019
By Deb Daley

“Our education lies at the heart of how we approach the world.  Mercy played a large part in shaping me into the person I am today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Angela Jacobson Weiss ’99.

Angela, a Senior Project Engineer, has been at Thermal Energy System Specialists (TESS) for eight years.  At TESS, she does energy performance simulations for renewable energy systems, green buildings, and other innovative energy systems. She also does troubleshooting, training, and development work on the software used in running simulations.

She credits Mercy with giving her a strong STEM foundation and has fond memories of the teachers there. 

“Maureen Davis and Kristi Wessling taught me everything I know about geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus.  College was really finishing school for me on these subjects.  I was very lucky to have such guiding lights at such a formative time in my life,” she said. 

While at Mercy, she was heavily involved in theatre.  Angela also participated in vocal ensembles, speech tournaments, Chemistry Field Day, and the annual High School Math Exam.

Mercy helped Angela find confidence in a safe and supportive space where she could be creative, quirky, and get excited about things like celebrating Mole Day and Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday.

“Throughout grade school and junior high, I never clicked with the rest of my class, and I tried to disappear.  At Mercy, I found like-minded friends, and I started to grow into myself,” she said. 

Angela graduated from Mercy in 1999 and attended Iowa State University where she earned a degree in mechanical engineering.  She attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a Master’s Degree through the Solar Energy Lab in Mechanical Engineering in 2006.  Her first job was at Nexant, an energy services company, for five years before she went to TESS.

Her current position has taken her all over the world to undertake on-site software trainings. 

“When I lead my trainings, I try to emulate my favorite teachers at Mercy by being approachable, engaged, and hands-on with the material.  I invite discussion, and I make sure they realize there are no stupid questions," she said.

Even though she lives 400 miles away, Angela finds ways to keep connected to Mercy through social media, publications, and conversations.  She also makes annual charitable contributions through her company by designating Mercy as her charity of choice.

“Education is one of the most life-changing investments we can make in ourselves, our children, and our community.  Mercy is, in my experience, one of the best places to trust with a girl’s education,” she said.