A native of Paducah, Kentucky, Shelby began her career on the University of Kentucky’s Paducah campus. Working toward her degree in chemical engineering, she joined engineering clubs in Paducah, but she still wanted to experience main campus.
“I transferred in January 2019 to see what all of the hype was,” Shelby said. “I love it up here. There are so many opportunities. Here, anything you like or are interested in, there is probably a club for it.”
For Shelby, getting involved was critical. She has been philanthropic for much of her life, serving her community and helping out others. In Paducah, she joined the University of Kentucky Appropriate Technology and Sustainability Research Team, which she said added a whole new humanitarian layer to her efforts. With the group, she partnerd with nonprofits internationally to develop technologies that will help underdeveloped regions. For example, she examined how to convert waste plastic to diesel so that a country to could develop a revenue stream, selling the oil to other countries.
“I want to look into getting a Ph. D. in chemical engineering and possibly an international degree so that I can work with a nongovernmental agency, the United Nations or World Bank to implement sustainable solutions for people in need,” Shelby said. “The Student Philanthropy Board is teaching me how to better communicate with people different needs and how to get funding for projects I am passionate about. You can desire to change the world, but in all honesty, money talks and SPB is giving me the tools to secure funding and help others.”
Shelby also is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and Engineers for a Sustainable World.