Mathematics, Entrepreneurial Studies in the Natural Sciences
Brendan Fuller believes in staying busy. As a double major and double minor who is also a student athlete, he knows all about balancing his time between his each of his commitments.
“I think that it is important to be involved on campus because it helps round you out as an individual, and helps build you as a leader and really helps to teach you time management,” said Brendan, a member of the Carthage Red Men football team. “If you know that you’re busy, and that you have a lot to get done, you really don’t have time to screw around too much.”
He has taken advantage of every opportunity to get involved on campus. Brendan has held positions in the Society of Physics Students and within his social fraternity, Delta Upsilon. He’s been on the football team for four years, and played in the Jazz band during his sophomore and junior year.
But Brendan hasn’t let his campus involvement get in the way of his schoolwork. Through the ScienceWorks program, he has had the chance to work closely with Dr. Douglas Arion of the Physics Department. “I designed and built a seismograph, then learned how to interface it with a computer to record the data.”
Brendan was drawn to the ScienceWorks program after getting involved in Carthage’s Physics Department. He thinks that the ScienceWorks and pre-engineering programs have two common strengths: the students and the professors.
“We have an outstanding group of professors who will go out of their way to make sure that you understand the material, and that you are getting the most out of your Carthage education, both in and out of the classroom, which I think is a rarity when attending a school of this caliber,” he said. “The students in the department are also pretty amazing. We have a group of students here who are amazing to work with, study with, and just to be around.”
The pre-engineering program was an easy fit for Brendan because of his love of math and science and interest in design and tinkering. In the future, he hopes to work as an engineer within the U.S. Navy and then go on to create a renewable energy firm that will focus on creating electricity using green sources.
“I think that’s how you know that you’ve had a good college experience — when you have too many memories to choose a favorite, and I certainly do.”
“In the long term, I would like to start a green and renewable energy firm.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“There are three kinds of teachers in the world: those who just teach, those who educate and get students excited to learn, and those who inspire their students to want to learn and really enjoy what they are teaching. I have only good things to say about all of the professors I have had at Carthage; we have some of the best teachers. However, there are two that stand out in my mind — both of whom have inspired me to take a real interest in what they are teaching, and make me want to learn more.
“First is Dr. Klyve, a former Carthage math professor. I enjoyed his class so much initially because he made calculus fun (which is quite the task), but then he inspired me to want to dig deeper into the subject matter and gain a deeper understanding of calculus, and how it is all around us.
“Then there is Dr. Doug Arion. Dr. Arion, the director of the ScienceWorks program, a physics and astronomy professor, and the coach of the Club Hockey team. He is one of, if not the smartest person I have ever met, and yet he still is just a big kid. He loves to show students what they are capable of doing, and pushes all of his students to be the best that they can be. He really takes an interest in the students and will bend over backward to help you get the most out of your education. And he’s been known to dish out some pretty solid lessons along the way, too.”
“The first two classes in the ScienceWorks program, ESNS 3100 and 3200. I’d like to think of them as a two-part class separated by winter break. Everything that is taught in the first half is the basis for the second half, and both classes are the absolute foundation of the rest of the program. What I liked most about these classes was the wide breadth of information taught, and how it is all applicable to the real world.”
“I think the toughest class I have taken at Carthage has been computer science. What made it so hard for me was training my brain to think sequential, and to break everything down and think through things step by step.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“I don’t think I have just one favorite memory. I will definitely never forget my first college football game, or the countless hours spent lifting and practicing with my teammates. Nor will I ever forget the day that I became an active brother of Delta Upsilon, when I was finally able to put on my letters and know that I was part of an organization that is bigger than just one person, and that now means so much to me. And I know that I won’t ever forget the unending hours spent in B-2 (the physics lounge) and the late night Taco Bell runs with my friends and classmates when we were trying to finish a problem set that was due the next day in class. I think that’s how you know that you’ve had a good college experience — when you have too many memories to choose a favorite, and I certainly do.”
Favorite spot on campus
“My favorite spot on campus is the bench by the telescope at the kissing rock. As much as I love football and classes, it’s nice to be able to just sit and think about something else and relax, and that bench makes the perfect spot when it’s nice out.”
Biggest surprise so far
“I think the biggest surprises so far are how fast the past three and a half years have gone, and how much I have grown since coming to Carthage. When I first came here, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, or what I wanted to be when I grew up. But thankfully we have such an amazing faculty with vastly different backgrounds and experiences. I was able to talk to them, take classes with them, work on projects with them, and at the end of the day I found what interests me.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Dr. Arion likes to say that the 20 or so people who take ESNS 3100 are the smartest students on campus. After going through the program, I agree with him 100 percent. Not only does he teach you how to take an idea from square one to a final product and make a business around it, he teaches you how to market and present yourself and your work in the real world, which at the end of the day, is what makes the difference. I would say take the first class, and if it at all interests you, keep on going. It will only benefit you in the end.”