As a woman in the male-dominated field of environmental engineering, Alexis Moran is pushing the boundaries of the American shipyard industry, and as an NFL cheerleader dedicated to the betterment of her community.
“Environmental compliance is so important because it avoids negative impacts on our planet,” Moran said. “The importance of the role we play inside and outside of the shipyard is essential, so we must make sure all requirements are met to ensure we are being good stewards of the environment and the community.”
A fourth-generation legacy shipbuilder, Moran has a passion for environmental stewardship as an Environmental Health and Safety Engineer at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Four years ago, the Vancleave native added NFL ambassador to her list of accomplishments when she joined the New Orleans Saints Cheer Krewe.
“Ingalls has helped instill confidence in me and has helped shape me into the person I am today,” she said. “I am forever grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve had here and for the support Ingalls has given to me to live out my dreams as both an engineer and an NFL cheerleader. I’ll never forget the electrifying feeling of performing in the Superdome for a sea of over 70,000 people. It’s a feeling like no other. The thrill of stepping out onto the field every game never gets old.”
And she took her shipyard knowledge with her when she auditioned for the Saints squad.
“The judges asked a fun fact about me,” she said with a laugh. “I always tell them that aside from all of the dance shoes I own, I also own a pair of steel-toe work boots because I’m a proud shipbuilder.”
Moran began her career at America’s largest military shipbuilding company as a college intern in 2017. She joined Ingalls full-time after graduating from Mississippi State University (MSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Engineering concentration. While attending MSU, Alexis was a three-year member of the MSU Pom Squad Dance Team.
Before dancing at the collegiate level, she was a member of the Vancleave High School cheerleading team and the award-winning Kelli’s Showstoppers Competitive Dance Team in Biloxi. She received extensive, formal training in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, pom, technique, tumbling, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and Broadway production at Kelli’s Steps School of Dance.
Currently, Moran works to improve the quality of air and water for shipbuilders, the environment, and the surrounding communities. She collects samples, manages hazardous material reviews and approvals, maintains safety databases, and energy management. “Each day brings new opportunities,” she said. “From crawling inside water tanks for inspections by day to driving to New Orleans for a four-hour field rehearsal that evening, the excitement never ends.”
Moran’s Cheer Krewe experiences with the Saints have added a passion for her community to her dedication to the environment. “To me, being a member of the Saints Cheer Krewe means giving back to the fans as well as the community that has given me so much joy and a chance to live out my dream,” she said.
Moran is an active environmental ambassador in South Mississippi, participating in numerous service efforts such as Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, De Soto National Forest Cleanup, and household hazardous waste days throughout the Magnolia State. “This enables us to adopt more sustainable practices that lead to improved efficiency, minimal waste, and less environmental effects,” she said.
Last summer, Moran was able to give back to the Ingalls internship that helped build her career by providing leadership and mentoring to college interns, and has similar plans this summer. She married her high school sweetheart, Roman, in April 2021. The couple has made their home in Ocean Springs with their golden retriever Sully, who loves to travel with them.
“I would not be able to do these jobs without my incredible support system,” she said. “My husband, family, Ingalls, and the Saints Cheer Krewe all encourage and motivate me to be the best I can be. Managing time and energy between both careers can be challenging, but I try to stay positive and always remind myself of how much I wanted this lifestyle and why I chased after these dreams in the beginning.”