Lisa Brothers is an engineer. She is also an outspoken advocate for UMass Lowell.

“I tell anyone who will listen that you get a very high-quality engineering education at UMass Lowell, without putting yourself into debt for a very large portion of your life,” she says. “To me, it’s a ‘benefit/cost’ analysis and UMass Lowell wins every time!”

That benefit/cost analysis is something that factored heavily into her own college experience. “I worked two jobs to pay for my education and the fact that I was able to afford the tuition while working part-time jobs was key,” says Brothers. “The education was top notch. I had other friends in engineering programs at different schools and I always felt that I was getting a deeper level of practical engineering experience – we didn’t just learn theory.”

Her hard work paid off. She is one of the owners and serves as vice president and chief operating officer of Nitsch Engineering Inc., a firm of nearly 100 in Boston. The firm provides civil engineering, land surveying, transportation engineering, planning and sustainable site consulting to clients. They have worked on projects in 17 states and five countries. Nitsch is also the largest Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) civil engineering firm in Massachusetts. In 2011, Brothers’ role at Nitsch Engineering changed to president and CEO.

The engineer and business leader does more than simply talk about the value of a UMass Lowell education. “At Nitsch Engineering, we currently employ six UMass Lowell alums who are all thriving,” she says. “We have engineers from many private and other public institutions and we have learned that UMass Lowell graduates are just as strong, or stronger than many of them.”

Brothers frequently returns to campus. She is an active alum serving on the Chancellor’s External Advisory Board and the Center for Women and Work Advisory Board. However, her most important visits to campus are to visit her son, Ryan.