(Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of student profiles written by students in JLMC 321, Public Relations Writing. Our thanks to the authors, to senior lecturer Erin Wilgenbusch, to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communications, and to the subjects. Read Part I and Part II.)
Leader. Driven. Inspiring. These are three of the many distinctive characteristics that describe sophomore in biological systems engineering Andrew Gall.
A Burlington, Iowa, native, Gall became interested in biological systems engineering (BSE) while watching a television program about renewable sources of energy. He wanted to learn more about what his impact could be. Gall began his Iowa State career only a year and half ago and has had the opportunity to obtain an internship, participate in an undergraduate research experiment, and hold leadership roles in student organizations, and he plans to study abroad.
Gall is currently the president of Freshman Leaders in Engineering (FLIE) and works with first-year students in the College of Engineering who are interested in getting involved and holding higher positions later in their college careers. Along with FLIE, Gall designates time in his schedule to be involved in the Engineering Student Council, Tau Beta Pi (an honor society), and also holds leadership roles in his residence hall.
Unlike many other sophomores, Andrew Gall has had the opportunity to participate in an internship, which he did over the summer for American Ordnance LLC in Burlington. As their production engineering intern, Gall had the chance to help with data collection and running quality tests on machines.
“My internship really helped to reinforce classes I have taken over the past year and gave me connections in the industry,” he said.
In addition to the internship, Gall also was able to work for Dr. Hongwei Xin, helping with research that involves ammonia emissions. Gall was responsible for checking on the experiment twice a day to make sure there were no leaks in the system. Gall also had the opportunity to help graduate students with their research experiments.
Gall also can add a foreign language to his resume. Gall’s second major is language and culture for professions, which allows him to take Spanish classes that will help with his goal of studying abroad for a semester and possibly working abroad in the future.
“Andrew is not a typical student for a first year,” said his academic advisor, Dr. LeQuetia Ancar. “He has an excellent resume and is highly motivated.”
Gall hopes to work in the renewable energy field in Spain after college and expand his engineering skills and foreign language abilities.
— Shanna Delfs
Mechanical engineering student and cycling enthusiast Tricia Salinas has been a prominent student in the College of Engineering since the beginning of her college career.
In the summer of 2008, Salinas participated in SPEED (Summer Program for Enhancing Engineering Development) in its founding year. As a student who had just graduated from high school, she got a glimpse from SPEED about what to expect as an engineering student in college. This experience allowed her to take physics and calculus classes, learn about time management, participate in workshops, and tour companies in the field.
“The best part was Dr. (Derrick) Rollins, the founder of the program,” Salinas said. “I am now on his research team.”
The Texas native later obtained an internship at General Mills. As an operations engineering intern, Salinas worked on projects identical to the projects professionals were doing.
“It could have been a real job,” Salinas said.
In addition to gaining real-world experience, Salinas asserted her leadership by beginning “Lunch and Learn” for her fellow interns. During these lunches, interns sat with a General Mills employee and learned about that employee’s position. It gave them insight to the different careers that could be in their futures.
Salinas is currently a junior in mechanical engineering. She chose the field because she wanted to be in an area that gave her a wide range of options. One of those options is the medical industry, which would allow her to build tools for doctors and surgeons.
— Kaitlyn Pennybacker
With a passion for bionic and cybernetic implant research, Roy Lycke plans to expand the limitations of the human body. He would like to enhance the control and agility of body mechanics and change the face of technology as we know it.
“I want to research and then see the technology properly integrated into the human body,” Lycke said. He is driven by his desire to reach the highest levels of education and learning. He plans to finish his bachelor’s degree, then go for his master’s degree at Iowa State and finally get his doctorate.
Born and raised in the small town of Green Mountain, Iowa, Lycke always knew he wanted to get into the engineering program at Iowa State because it’s one of the best schools in the nation and it’s also close to home.
The computer engineering program stands out in Lycke’s mind because “there’s a great deal of hands-on labs and classes.” He is most appreciative of the availability of materials and professors and the accessibility of on-campus buildings.
In addition to his computer engineering degree, he will graduate with a double minor in bioengineering and psychology. “My minors will aide in my understanding of the human body and cognitive processes,” said Lycke.
Eventually he sees himself becoming a professor and teaching undergraduates through research, similar to his on-campus job as a research assistant in bioengineering. At present, he assists Dr. Santosh Pandey in the development, running, and analyzing of test data. He also finds time to work at the LAS Center for Distance and Online Learning as a class recorder and IT specialist.
An active member of Eta Kappa Nu, an honor society for electrical and computer engineers, Lycke mentors students and assists freshmen. “Why shouldn’t someone be active at Iowa State?” said Lycke. “You must make the most of your time here with a lot of interactions.”
Lycke describes his drive and personality as being eccentric. “Sometimes I’m outward and sometimes I’m inward, but all in a fun way,” he said.
— Rachel Gerdes