MARY JANE SKOGEN HAGENSON (BS ‘74 physics and mathematics; MS ‘76 and PhD ‘80 biomedical engineering) used her three Iowa State degrees to become a successful scientist, technology leader, and corporate executive.
Hagenson served the petrochemical industry for 27 years, retiring after 12 years as vice president of research and technology for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. She had joined the parent company, Phillips Petroleum, in 1984 as a Senior Research Scientist and held various research and business roles, advancing to Vice President of Specialty Chemicals and Plastics in 1998.
A native Iowan, Mary Jane grew up on the Skogen farm near Thompson, the oldest of four daughters. She greatly valued the farm experience which led her to learn, contribute, and develop a strong work ethic.
Hagenson is honored to have served on the National Science Foundation Directorate for Engineering Advisory Committee and the National Academies Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, groups that seek to provide solutions to some of the Nation’s greatest challenges.
Among her many honors, in 2013, she was inducted into Iowa State University’s Chemical & Biological Engineering Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2015 she received ISU’s top award for engineering achievement, the Anson Marston Medal, and was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
While she now lives in San Antonio, Texas, Hagenson continues to offer her time and talents to her alma mater. She has served as a member and chair of the ISU College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Council and the Chemical and Biological Engineering Industrial Advisory Council. She has been a Governor of the Iowa State University Foundation since 2000.
Education remains a priority for both Hagenson and her husband Randy, also an ISU engineer. Growing up on farms across the road from one another, Randy earned a BS in electrical engineering and MS and PhD in nuclear engineering. They have two daughters, who also have PhD degrees from Iowa State, four grandsons and two granddaughters.
Mary Jane credits her early interest in science, mathematics and physics to exceptional teachers at Thompson Community School who inspired her to pursue a technical career.
“We believe in the transformative power of education and we want other young people to enjoy successful and rewarding technical careers,” she said.
Together the Hagensons sponsor scholarships at North Iowa High School and ISU. They also championed and supported a professorship at Iowa State to honor one of Mary Jane’s mentors, Richard C. Seagrave.
“Dr. Seagrave’s visionary leadership of the Biomedical Engineering Program at ISU, coupled with his technical excellence and professionalism, encouraged me and many others to pursue this exciting new field,” she said.
Dean of the College of Engineering, Sarah Rajala: Dr. Hagenson has received many accolades for her talents as a researcher, technology leader and industry executive – and our college benefits from her experience, guidance and generous support.