Electrical & Systems Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering
Degree pursuing: BS in systems science & engineering and computer engineering
Hometown: Clarksville, Maryland
What program are you in?
I am a BS/MS student double majoring in systems science & engineering and computer engineering for my undergraduate degrees and participating in research for my MS in electrical engineering.
Why did you decide to study engineering?
Curiosity has always been my biggest motivation! I grew up in a STEM family and I always wanted to know how things worked. I chose engineering because it provided me a path to continue to study how things work and how we as students contribute to understanding the world. In my opinion, engineers use creativity, design, mathematics and problem solving to join all the fields of engineering. The responsibility is demanding, impactful and part of a familial community.
Are you performing any research in a lab?
Yes, the Sensing, People and Networks (SPAN) Lab with Dr. Neal Patwari. I'm working with wireless communication, radio frequency and software engineering.
Why did you pick WashU?
Touring WashU was different than any other university I considered. Despite visiting campus during April when students were hard at work and busy with midterms, I didn't feel like a visitor. Students would see my big "prospective student" sticker and stop to introduce themselves, welcome me to campus and tell me places to stop by before leaving. Even before being a WashU student, I felt welcomed into the WashU family and a part of a supportive, collaborative community.
Who is your favorite instructor and why?
One of my favorite parts of WashU is that I haven't had a professor that I haven't liked. Each of my professors has offered a new perspective on engineering and education, taught me something interesting outside of the curriculum, and shown their passion for their field.
If I had to highlight one, Prof. Tucker Krone is one of my favorite professors on campus. He taught my probability and statistics for engineering course, as well as my conflict management course. Both courses are required for my major, but I never felt like that was the case. Every lecture was engaging and interactive. Prof. Krone's priority is to make sure students understand the content and have a good experience at WashU. He takes attendance solely for the purpose of checking in on students who don't make it to class rather than to take off points for missing lectures. Since having him as a professor, I have TA'd for Prof. Krone for four semesters. Working with him just further shows how he is caring, supportive and engaged with students beyond the classroom.
What advice would you give to a new student?
Take a class you wouldn't originally see yourself in! Taking "Introduction to Psychology" during my first semester is where I met some of my closest friends. Jazz dance class was a much-needed break from the challenge of engineering classes. Taking "Introduction to Computer Engineering" was the reason that I started my second degree in computer engineering!
What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
Forest Park! Campus is just a walk away from Forest Park, the Zoo, history museum, art museum and so much more. It is also nice to just go for a run or picnic on Art Hill.
What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
I was on my College Council my first year, which is like a mini student government for each of the residential college communities on the South 40 (where all first-year students and many sophomores live on campus). I loved being able to help organize residential college events, continue traditions, be a connection between the other residents and the staff, and show spirit for our ResCollege.
I have also been on the cheerleading team since my first semester and would recommend something that gets you up and active! Classes can be challenging and time-consuming, so having something that gets you moving and a part of a team is a fun way to burn off steam and have fun at the same time. There are tons of opportunities for all skill levels from intramural teams to club teams to varsity teams. There is also a nice gym on campus.
What are your plans for the future?
I started my MS this semester! I will be working on this as I finish up my undergraduate degrees and through the summer of 2023. After I graduate, I plan to return to Maryland to work and hopefully continue my own research in my free time so that I can continue to learn.