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STEM Inspiration: Meet Kristen, GM & Environmental Engineer

When Kristen Mariuzza was in junior high, she would get excited to babysit when she knew the kids had LEGO sets. She loved playing with LEGO bricks so much, that she could’ve stayed up all night long building with them.

Stacking each brick allowed Kristen to understand structure and design, which coupled well with her natural curiosity of how things work and why things are the way they are.

Her critical thinking and problem-solving skills followed her to where she is today in her career: General Manager of Eagle Mine located in Marquette County, Michigan, a role she has been in for the past six months.

Kristen started her mining career as a Michigan Technological University college student working at the Empire Mine, both as an environmental intern and then in the pit as a vacation replacement. After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from MTU, she developed a passion for leadership in her field.

Before being General Manager, Kristen was the Health, Safety, Environment, and Permitting Manager at Eagle, where she gained significant experience from the early project phase to full production. Before Eagle, Kristen was a regulator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) assisting communities with water treatment system engineering and design and participating in the review of new and innovative treatment technologies that help protect water resources.

Kristen is motivated by working with many different people from all over the world and understanding what they do. One of the many goals that Kristen has is showing others that mining can be done successfully while maintaining a healthy environment.

“Solving the daily challenges and being part of a team of intelligent, hardworking people is something I am very passionate about,” said Kristen. “At Eagle, we have built and sustained an operation that we all feel proud to have contributed to.”

Kristen is always exploring new ways to develop her technical and business skills, as well as her leadership and personal skills.

“I continue to pursue work that is challenging and fulfills me, and help to advance leadership skills in those who want to be leaders,” said Kristen.

Kristen’s advice for anyone interested in the field of engineering is strengthening their math and science skills and studying hard because it will be well worth the effort.

“Learn to love learning. Even when you think you’ll never use math again, you will. Whether you’re an engineer or not,” said Kristen.

Kristen added that engineering is an exciting field of work where you can do almost anything and live anywhere in the world.

“You can design and create things, build robots, build and program computers and gaming stations, work for NASA, own your own company. You name it, and an engineering degree can help you get there,” said Kristen.

Kristen’s advice for parents on how to develop a love for learning in their child is to allow their child to learn through play.

“Play fosters creativity and creativity is critical. We need to let kids be creative, think for themselves, test things to learn how they work, and let them fail and succeed,” said Kristen. “When we limit creativity and tell them how to do things and give all the answers, it stifles the ability for new development and new ideas.”

Like Kristen, we want each child to have the opportunity to love learning by being creative and innovative through play. We hope to encourage this by giving away more than 100 mining-themed LEGO sets!

Here’s how you can enter:

"LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site."

Click here to enter our online giveaway to win one of 13 LEGO sets. U.S. Residents only. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

Enter our community-wide giveaway. Look for our metal standing banner in the following locations:


  • Peter White Public Library (children’s area)

  • Eagle Mine Information Center


  • Ishpeming Public Carnegie Library (children’s area)


  • Negaunee Public Library (children’s area)


  • Forsyth Township Public Library (enter building, turn left)


  • Michigamme Township Hall (large meeting room)


  • Republic-Michigamme School Public Library (children's area)


  • Jerzi's 41 Bar & Grill (on the right after entering restaurant)

Big Bay

  • Cram's General Store (against wall across from cash register)


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