What is your background? Hometown? High school? Family members?: I grew up on a farm outside the small town of Thompson, Iowa. I went to North Iowa High School, where I graduated by the skin of my teeth in 2001. I was a pretty poor student when I was younger. Luckily, I’ve grown out of that. Now I live in Iowa City with my wonderful wife, Sadie (we got married on July, 4th 2015!), and her energetic, brilliant daughter; Alyssa.
What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: I was unsatisfied with my life. I was severely depressed and nothing I had going was what I wanted to be doing. At some point, I decided that enough was enough and I needed make some changes. I started taking online classes, studying math and taking my health seriously. I got a slightly better job as a slot machine technician for the casino in Riverside. It was still pretty awful pointed me in the right direction. For the first time in my life, I was doing something I enjoyed doing: working with electronics. The casino wasn’t a place I wanted to work forever, though. I knew if I wanted to really get my life moving in the right direction, I needed a formal education, and the degree that goes with it. Kirkwood provided to perfect opportunity to get a good education quickly, and at a reasonable price. It’s been wonderful so far, along the way I’ve lost two hundred pounds, married my dream woman, and landed my dream job. Coming to Kirkwood was one of the best decisions I ever made.
What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I am in the Electronics Engineering Technology program. I’m learning how to build the next generation of gadgets that keep the whole world connected.
Are you involved in anything else on campus? If so, what and why?: I participated in last year’s SkillsUSA competition, finishing 1st at the state level, and 3rd in the nation. I got involved because it looked fun, and I thought it would look great on a resume. I was right on both counts.
If not, are involved in anything off of campus? If so, what and why?: Off campus, I am an intern at Skyworks Solutions, Inc. They are a semiconductor company that makes chips for wireless devices. I get to work with a team of world class engineers and technicians to help develop cutting edge technology that will end up in devices used by billions of people around the world. Right here in Cedar Rapids. How cool is that?
What do you do for fun?: I go to school! I go to work! There isn’t much time for anything else right now, my non-school/work/sleep hours (both of them!) are currently dedicated to spending time with my wife and step-daughter.
Where do you see yourself in five years?: In five years, I expect to be working full time as an Engineering Technician at Skyworks while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at night. Should be fun!