Ihave never read my favorite book, although I know it by heart, I have listened to it hundreds of times. I have dyslexia. During my junior year when I was struggling with college choices and what I wanted to do with my life, a teacher gave me an article about first-year engineering students with dyslexia. The report stated that students with dyslexia in higher education attribute their success to motivation, planning, and organization.
"I have never read my favorite book, although I know it by heart, I have listened to it hundreds of times."
- Jack G.
Excelling in class is something I am very proud of, but sometimes it is a struggle. I work hard because the easy things for most people are more difficult to me, yet the hard things for some, are easy for me. I have the strange ability to "visualize" mathematical questions and solve problems with leaps of intuition rather than the "proper" established techniques of strict logical analysis. Even though I know I learn differently, I also know my strengths and believe in my own in own abilities to succeed in spite of the system. To me, motivation and confidence in my abilities to succeed will take me farther than any test score on a piece of paper. Dyslexia is a contradiction; I am a slow reader but a fast thinker. The reason this matters in an academic setting is that specific learning difficulty can prevent me from performing well in an assessment designed to assess higher level thinking. My higher level thinking is hard to measure. Dyslexia does not “disable” me; it “enables” me. By working harder, it strengthens my conviction. More importantly, it gives me the confidence to aim higher and try harder than my peers. I know I can do in college what I have done in high school. Being a part of an honors program for gifted students is a testament to my conviction and dedication to surpass my limits as a student. I have proven to myself that I can succeed at anything I put my mind to in spite of a learning disability. It is my experience as a student with a learning disability that drives me to build a solid academic foundation and to make possible my goal of becoming a distinguished engineer.
"I have always thought of myself as a problem solver, and engineers solve significant problems."
- Jack G.
If you were to ask my parents, they would say I have always found more joy in taking my toys apart than playing with them. I have always seen myself as an engineer. I have been fortunate to have had several experiences during high school that have fostered my love of discovery. Under the guidance of Dr. Aditi Chattopadhyay, Director of ASU’s Adaptive Intelligent Materials & Systems (AIMS) Center, and working alongside doctoral student Chris Sorini, I assisted with his project on multiscale modeling of composites and ballistic impact modeling of triaxially braided composites. To earn high school credit, I spent at least five hours every week in the lab and completed journal entries and daily reports. Upon completion of my internships, I was required to write a research paper. During this past summer, I had a paid internship with the High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP) sponsored by the Army Research Office. Through this program, I developed skills in critical science and engineering research at ASU. During this program, I was able to work with doctoral student Siddhant Dattato and his research in nanocomposite fabrication and multiscale modeling. This experience prepared me for the next steps of my educational and professional career. This year I am interning at ASU with Steve Tremble in the Fulton School of Engineering. I am using my knowledge of SOLIDWORKS to create models for projects with his graduate students.
So why do I want to study engineering? I think engineering students think big and want to solve problems. I have always thought of myself as a problem solver, and engineers solve significant problems. Being an engineer means being part of a team and working with other people that like to solve problems too. That is the kind of career I want to be a part of.
- Jack G.