Attending the Research Rookies Reception was one of the most memorable experiences for me. It’s really amazing to see a room full of professors, talented students, and even President Baker himself. Before giving my speech, I was a little nervous because now I knew my professor was watching me. However, with the support from the Research Rookies Program and the determination to share about my project, I was able to give my speech without the nervousness. My favorite part of the reception was when President Baker gave the welcoming speech about all of us striving to solve real-world problems. It was this part that really grabbed my attention because that’s exactly what I’ve been striving for all this time and a big part of why I want to become an Electrical and Computer Engineer. To see the same words that I’ve spoken about and written in my essays for college come out of President Baker’s mouth was a big encouragement to me to continue striving for success in the engineering field to help solve those real-world problems.
A big surprise that really came over me during the reception was being named one of the Simmon Scholars for the 2014-2015 year. It is definitely a great honor to be recognized as someone who the Research Rookies Program thinks exemplifies academic excellence, commitment to the program, and a strong interest for research in the STEM field. One thing I’m definitely excited about after becoming a Simmon Scholar is the opportunity to work even closer with the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning with programs like Northern Lights Ambassadors to try and promote student success learning outside the classroom to further enrich their college experience. I want people who come to NIU to have the same, if not better awesome experiences that I’m having now.
I believe that being a Simmon Scholar will allow me to achieve great things in my field of engineering. I know that this world contains way too many problems for just one person like me to tackle. Therefore, as a Simmon Scholar, advocating for the development of problem solvers through participation in programs that the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning has to offer is essential to solving these real-world problems. One of the main activities I did as a member of FIRST Robotics Team 3061 Huskie Robotics was participating in STEM Outreaches and advocating for careers and opportunities in science and technology. I believe that what the OSEEL is doing is an essential part of what NIU has to offer. I can definitely see world changers being developed and real-world problems being solved through the work that OSEEL does.
Lastly, I would graciously like to thank Mr. Harry Simmon and Mrs. Jaymie Simmon for really taking that extra step to promote the importance of STEM careers and opportunities. They are a big part of supporting and nurturing students to become world changers. It is through their support that I’m now one step closer to achieving my dream and seeing to the development of other real-world problem solvers.