Hometown: Goshen, Ky.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Plans to graduate: Spring 2007
Clubs/organizations: Honors Scholar Program; Formula SAE Team; Leadership Advantage Program; American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Socity of Automotive Engineers; Speed School Student Council; Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society; Golden Key Honour Society; 2003 Emerging Leadership Conference facilitator, intramural soccer, intramural softball, Shadow Program
Hobbies/interests: soccer, snowboarding, skimboarding, hiking, camping, running
Why he chose U of L: In my opinion, it has the best engineering school in the state. The five-year master's program and mandatory engineering co-op are one of a kind for the area and even the nation. Apart from the great education offered at U of L, the numerous scholarships I received sealed the deal, making an education at U of L easily affordable.
About his co-op: I am currently on my second mechanical engineering co-op in Albuquerque, N.M., for Sandia National Laboratories. The hands-on training I’ve received in this full-time job is invaluable. Going on co-op has given me the chance to see if mechanical engineering is really the career path I want to choose for the rest of my life. Working for the Department of Energy on classified projects is an exciting experience, and one most people don’t get the chance to come into contact with.
The biggest surprise when he arrived on campus: The tremendous amount of extracurricular activities there were to get involved with on campus. Within a few weeks, most of my time outside of class was occupied with fun, challenging activities that helped me meet new people and develop new friendships.
What he wishes someone had told him before he got to campus: I wish I had learned how to cook a good meal before I came to college! Fast food and junk food becomes an all-too-familiar diet at school, and a home-cooked meal is worth the trip home.
Advice for future students: Come to U of L with an open mind and the attitude that you’ve been given a fresh start to do all the things you’ve been afraid to do in the past. Motivate yourself to meet new people and excel academically. Have fun – college will be one of the most enjoyable periods of your life.
Other thoughts: Besides the career skills I learn at work, living 1300 miles away from home in the southwestern desert is an experience in its own right. Bluegrass is replaced with desert sand, and the tallest trees are replaced with diminutive cacti. The views are incredible as you drive through the countryside; majestic mesas rise from the flat, expansive desert, and small signs beckon you to visit Native American pueblos along the way.
The research and development field that I work in has sparked my interest and motivated me to try for a Ph.D. after I complete my master’s degree at U of L. Hopefully my experience at Sandia National Laboratories will ensure that my future career is as exciting as my current co-op.