Tardivo Alcoser ’02 remembers what makes Marietta special

Jerry Tardivo Alcoser in McDonough

Jerry Tardivo Alcoser ’02 was overcome by nostalgic memories as she watched students take their seats in a small classroom in the McDonough Center.

“It is a completely different (college),” she says. “The essence is still there, but as I walk around and see all these new buildings, the feeling is just amazing. The campus is as beautiful as always and I feel like I am 20 again.”

Jerry, who is the manager of business development and planning for Chevron Deepwater Exploration and Projects Business Unit in North America, returned to Marietta in February as a Visiting Executive for the Leadership Program. She met with a variety of students throughout the day to share her views and experiences, including a Global Leadership class.

“This is something I’m very passionate about. I think it is wonderful, and I wanted to do it for quite some time. I wanted to come back here one day and share experiences and learnings,” she says. “I have worked for some great leaders, and having the opportunity to transfer those learnings to younger generations can be powerful.”

The students were also grateful for what they took away from Jerry’s visit.

“The more I listened to Jerry, the more I realized she is who I want to be when I grow up,” says Katie Plas ’17. “She seems to have everything together, her morals in check, and the ability to be a wonderful leader, mentor and role model, especially for young engineers trying to figure out where they stand.”   

Katie is one of about 40 women currently majoring in Petroleum Engineering at Marietta. Jerry says she was one of three women in the entire program in 2002, and her graduating class had only 12 people in it. In recent years, the program graduates 80 or 90 students.

“We were a very small, close-knit family, so it was great being able to interact with everybody,” Jerry says. “I have always been one of the few women, if not the only woman, in the room, and usually the youngest. When I was hired by Chevron in 2002, I was the only woman in the room and younger by about 20 or 30 years.”

Now she is seeing a change in the industry.

“There is a positive trend, and you can see more women sitting around the table in leadership roles; however, it is still challenging to find them across the energy industry, which is not as diverse as we would like to see it,” says Jerry, who during her career has worked in Kansas, Texas and Louisiana.

She also worked overseas for four years in Angola, where she met her husband, Luis. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Eva.

“I was given the opportunity to work internationally with five years of experience, which I was very excited about,” Jerry says. “When I was in Africa, I was working with people from 14 different countries, and they spoke different languages. I had to lead that team, and I believe my experience at Marietta helped prepare me for this. I’m proud of the work we did as a team.”