University Honors Visionary: Laurie Haack (BS ’79; MS ’06)

If you’ve ever wondered what difference a college degree can make, look no further than 2019 Vision & Visionaries award recipient Laurie Haack. Before attending Cal State Fullerton, she worked as a clerk typist for the Navy’s finance office. Today, she is the software product line manager for air and missile defense radar systems.

Photo of Alumnus Laurie Haack with Cal State Fullerton students

Laurie Haack (BS ‘79; MS ‘06), 2019 Visionary award winner, enjoys her role as Professor for a Day. Her aim is to guide the next generation of leaders and encourage more women to enter engineering fields.

Haack entered CSUF in 1977 to pursue a relatively new engineering field. She says, “I was the only woman in my first computer science class.” A little over two decades later, Haack returned to her alma mater to pursue her master’s degree. Upon her graduation in 2006, Haack was honored as “Best Master of Science.” Shortly after, she was named one of CSUF’s “50 Women of Distinction” for career and life achievements.

Headshot image of Cal State Fullerton Alumnus Laurie Haack
Laurie Haack (BS ‘79; MS ‘06)

In the past 12 years, Haack’s fundraising efforts have resulted in gifts of over $475,000 for the college.

Upon receiving the Vision & Visionaries award in February, Haack commented, “CSUF was a game changer. It moved me from a clerical career to software engineer.”

Haack has enjoyed a 40-plus-year career at Raytheon. “I’ve had many opportunities as an engineer. I’ve built everything from radars and radios to top-secret systems.” As she continues to support Raytheon’s internal innovation efforts, Haack acknowledges her alma mater. She says, “We hire Cal State Fullerton grads because they’re prepared for the workforce.” Currently, CSUF grads are working at Raytheon locations across the United States.

Haack visits CSUF often as a member of the ECS Leadership Council and as a mentor and participant in ECS Professor for a Day and the Leadership and Diversity Summit. She also serves on the MS Software Engineering advisory board. As a driving force behind the Women in Computer Science and Engineering program, the ECS Center for Cybersecurity, and the future Navigation, Controls, and Guidance Center, she has encouraged many of her colleagues to participate with her at ECS events. In the past 12 years, Haack’s fundraising efforts have resulted in gifts of over $475,000 for the college.

“I am proud of what the College of Engineering & Computer Science is accomplishing,” explains Haack. “I am proud to support women in engineering and proud to be a graduate of CSUF.”

Established in 1994, the Vision & Visionaries awards are the highest honors that the University bestows on alumni and community supporters.

Laurie Haack, a software engineer speaks with Cal State Fullerton students.
Laurie Haack, software engineer, shares her experience building radar systems and designing software for U.S. defense contractor Raytheon. She enjoys interacting with the next generation of Cal State Fullerton engineers.

Recommended Articles