Janea Spillers is a mechanical engineer with Pruett, Ford & Associates and an artist. She graduated from Mercer with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and a minor in graphic design in 2018. She lives in Augusta with her husband, Trey.
Here are five things to know about Spillers:
1. She couldn’t stay away from Mercer.
Spillers’ grandmother, father, aunt and sister all went to Mercer, but initially, she was determined to break the family tradition by going to college elsewhere. She changed her mind after touring the Mercer campus and learning about the engineering program. She wanted to be able to incorporate architecture into her career, and Mercer afforded her the opportunity to study engineering while also minoring in graphic design.
She also found love while at Mercer. Her husband is a 2017 Mercer graduate and is currently in dental school in Augusta.
2. She works for an engineering firm.
Spillers is a project engineer at Pruett, Ford & Associates, a company based in Augusta that specializes in HVAC system engineering and design.
“It’s kind of a lot of problem-solving, but that’s the best part to me,” she said. “My favorite part is after getting the information on the building, figuring out the problems, doing all the designing.”
In the next couple years, she hopes to become a licensed professional engineer, a certification that represents the highest standards in the field.
3. Mercer taught her to solve problems.
“Mercer has prepared me with the tools to be successful in whatever I do,” she said.
The problem-solving skills she gained at Mercer have allowed her to tackle new projects with ease, and her communications skills have helped her to step into managerial positions. In addition, being a Mercer Service Scholar broadened her horizons and showed her how to be more sensitive and aware of the world around her.
“Being a Service Scholar was really helpful in training my brain to operate on a higher social plane,” she said. “I think that makes you a better employee, a better person, a better artist.”
4. She’s a budding artist.
Spillers was exposed to art and developed a love for it at an early age because her mother was a painter. She learned the basics of drawing and painting and practiced often, but it wasn’t until after graduating from college that she really started to focus on honing this passion.
“Now I have time to explore my style and explore my painting and open it up to the world. I love figure painting, just really capturing the personality of somebody,” she said. “I finally kind of became public with my art. Since then, it’s taken off.”
Some of her artwork can be found at Massey Gordon, a boutique in Perry, and she has been commissioned to do a number of pieces, including figure paintings and landscapes. She is working on a painting for a Macon business owner depicting an aerial view of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church looking down Poplar Street. Spillers loves painting outside and said it’s a spiritual experience that allows her to connect with nature and creation.
5. She urges Mercer students to make the most of college.
“You assume you’re in the prequel to your life starting when you’re in college, but you’re really in the middle of it,” Spillers said.
Never again will students have access to so many bright minds in one place, and they should take advantage of the resources that are readily available to them. Spillers encouraged students to find their passion and pursue it with their whole heart, but not feel like they have to take on every single thing while in school.
“Try it all and keep what fits, and don’t cry about what doesn’t,” she said.