William Jewell College seniors Grant Janssen, physics and ACT-In major and mathematics minor and Samantha Cobb, physics major, are graduating this spring and hope to take what they have learned at Jewell on to graduate school in order to pursue professional engineering careers.
Janssen originally was on the three-two plan in which he planned to attend Jewell for three years then go on to get an engineering degree at another institution. However, he decided to stay at Jewell for an extra year.
“A turning point for me was when I decided to stay for four years instead of moving on in three. After that I started to get a lot more involved and it started to change my whole experience at Jewell,” said Janssen.
He is heavily involved with his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, the Pryor Leadership Program and the golf team. Janssen also holds positions as the treasurer of Mortar Board and the president of Order of Omega.
On graduating, Janssen said he will miss the Jewell community and the physics department.
“The physics faculty is really supportive. They are always honest with their opinions which is great because that helped me to shape my decision for graduate school,” said Janssen.
Janssen got accepted into the engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis, but the school does not have a program in sustainable engineering, his specialty of interest.
During his time at Jewell, Janssen had an internship as a project manager in solar energy, which led him to become passionate about renewable energy.
“What I really want to do is get a job in that sector and get some experience then see where that goes and if that leads to graduate school somewhere else that has sustainable engineering that would be my plan,” said Janssen.
Some graduate schools Janssen is looking into that offer his specialty are the University of California, Berkley, The University of Michigan and Stanford University.
For the future, Janssen aspires for a masters of business administration, attend engineering graduate school, become a professional engineer (PE) and start his own company if he sees the niche.
“There isn’t a whole lot of solar engineering opportunities in Kansas City; they are mainly in the Southwest, but I would like to see it move here and be a part of the shift,” said Janssen.
Cobb will be attending Washington University in St. Louis as well. She is leaning towards the three year program in which she will earn a masters and bachelors degree in chemical engineering.
Cobb chose Washington University because of the good reputation they have for graduating chemical engineers, it is close to home and Dr. Baker, physics faculty, also attended the school and has high recommendations for their programs.
Cobb considers the physics department to be a family and enjoys how the physics professors genuinely care for their students.
“The physics faculty even get to know the students’ lives, and through that they can find internships and jobs that will interest individual students,” said Cobb.
Cobb had a research internship with the Pilsbury Scholars. In the program, Cobb completed an aquaponics system and went to Haiti to install solar panels.
“I want to stay on the environmental side of chemical engineering, but I haven’t decided if I want to be in the office or out in the field working. I am hoping that through summer internships I can get an idea of exactly what I want to do,” said Cobb.
During her four years at Jewell, Cobb has been president of her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, and currently holds positions as secretary of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics national honors society, and president of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics national honors society.
Photos by Chandler Eaton. A previous version of this article was published.