Ariel Lineberger, Engineering
Name: Ariel R’Monie Lineberger
College: College of Engineering and Technology
Concentration: Environmental engineering
Minor: Mathematics and composite natural science
Hobbies/interests: Hiking, traveling, painting and taking care of my plants
Clubs and Organizations: Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers,
WGO Book Club, ReLeaf, Sustainabilibees
Favorite hangouts: Coastal Fog
Favorite places on campus: Life Science and Biotechnology Building, Room 3001
Favorite places to eat: CAVA
Favorite classes: Surface water hydrology
Professors who influenced you the most: Dr. Natasha Bell, Dr. Randall Etheridge and Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam. Each professor has assisted me in realizing my full potential. They each have challenged me in my educational and professional career to excel and to take on responsibilities that have in turn opened new opportunities.
Dream job: Work for the Environmental Protection Agency, and when I retire, I would like to volunteer for the National Park Service.
Role model: My mom is my role model. She is a big support in my life, and she keeps me grounded. In the face of adversity, stress or excitement, she has been a common denominator of support in every facet of my life.
Your words to live by: “There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” — Nelson Mandela
What advice do you have for other students? “Break the mold. Challenge yourself and use this time in college to build yourself up from the inside out. Do not go through the motions. You are your own advocating force in college, and there are so many opportunities for you to travel, network and gain experience during college if you seek it out. ECU professors are more than willing to help you achieve your goals, and as long as you have the drive, they will assist you in making these goals attainable in every way possible.”
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you had known during your first year? I wish I had known about all the free parking around campus sooner. Now that I am a senior I have found some great spots that are close to campus. Since I work in two locations that are on completely different sides of campus, these parking spots come in handy, especially when I miss the bus.
Ariel Lineberger came to East Carolina University for the small class sizes.
“I didn’t want to be just a number,” she said. “I wanted to actually talk to my professors, to be known and actually to be seen throughout the campus, too.”
And now that she’s graduating on Friday with a degree in engineering, Lineberger is looking back on big-time experiences.
“As long as you want it, you can get it at ECU,” she said.
Lineberger attended and presented at national conferences, winning awards for her work. She worked as a lab manager and project manager. She conducted research and helped guide companies and businesses in efforts to reduce pollution. She joined and became involved in student organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers.
“It’s all encompassed me to be who I am today,” she said. “… Everything just kind of comes into a big pot and cooks up success for you.”
But that success wasn’t easy. She came to ECU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Overall it was a big adversity having COVID, being a first-generation college student and being a woman in engineering, being a minority in engineering,” Lineberger said. “This has all been a big hurdle I had to overcome.”
She said she enjoyed meeting new people at ECU and just hanging out on the Mall with friends, calling those some of her favorite experiences. She advocated for STEM education by serving youth during summer camps.
“It’s pretty fun. I like working with them,” she said of teaching youth about STEM. “It reminds me how I was back in those days.”
In the classroom, she was a multiple scholarship recipient and was the 2022 American Water Resources Association Diversity, Equity and Inclusion national scholarship recipient as an undergraduate. She helped construct wetlands for the Greenville Utilities Commission and led students as part of a pollution prevention internship program for the Center for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering.
Her passion for the environment — her degree is in engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering — is a result of her upbringing in the small western North Carolina town of Nebo.
“It combined my love for math and science, but also ecological aspects of actually working with nature and seeing how nature can benefit us, because for me there’s a symbiosis with nature and humans so we need to make sure that is always taken care of and respected,” Lineberger said.
She plans to wrap up some projects at ECU after graduation and has an eye on graduate school as she considers her career options. She firmly believes in self-advocacy and advises others to get involved and ask professors about opportunities for work and research.
“You need to make sure you get what you want out of this experience because you’re paying for it like an investment, and you are your best investment,” Lineberger said. “And whether it’s your education or taking care of yourself mentally and physically, those are the best things you can do for yourself.”