Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Future Alumni Essay Contest - Runner-Up

A Lasting Experience at Trident
Steven Henneberry

With my Future Alumni Essay, I hope to show that because of my experience and time here at Trident, I will be ready to take on what lies ahead of me. Because of Trident, I will be able to have a successful future and be able to give back to the college what it has given me. 

When talking about how Trident has helped me in my academic goals, I feel as if the best place to start is a few months before I had enrolled into the college. I was halfway through my reserves contract with the United States Marine Corps here in Charleston and had decided that I wanted to further my education by going to college. At the time, my current goal was to work towards obtaining a master’s degree in mathematics. While all the universities I had looked into had great math programs, they were located at other cities within the state and I was not able to travel that far for an education since I was stationed at the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston and was not allowed to move a certain distance. At that point, I had decided to try to look more locally and see if there were more viable options for obtaining an education. When I came across Trident Technical College, I realized there was an exceptionally great opportunity presented to me; not only were there classes offered on their main campus in Charleston, these classes I could take could also be transferable to almost any college in the State. This meant for me that there was a college nearby that provided excellent education and was not far from the Weapons Station.

While there are many ways Trident has been able to make my educational experience enjoyable and satisfying since my time being here, there has been one opportunity that the college has provided for me that has, in my opinion, prepared me for a better career in the mathematics. After I had made A’s in the Calculus I and the Calculus II classes that I took here for the summer semester of 2015, the head of the Learning Center here at Trident Technical (Professor Stephen Walker) offered me a job as a paid math tutor, which I accepted without hesitation. At that time, it was the best job I had taken on in my entire life and I was thankful for Trident Tech for allowing me to take on a job like this at their college. I continue to work at the Learning Center today and during my time working there I have not only increased my math skills and experience exponentially, but I have also gained a new perspective on mathematics and how I should go about learning new math. Thanks to Trident, I know that the experience, skills, and knowledge I have gained as a math tutor at the Learning Center will help me have a successful and more fulfilling career in mathematics and also help me better help those in my field of study better understand complicated math concepts.

My contract to the Marines has now ended and my last year at Trident Technical is coming to a close. With the help of Dr. Katharine Purcell who is the study abroad advisor here at Trident, I was able to apply to several international universities. I was eventually accepted to one of the Australian universities that I applied to, which was the University of Western Australia (UWA). Talking with both Dr. Purcell and Professor Walker, we had all agreed UWA would be a good place to continue pursuing my academic goals. Since my semester at UWA does not start until mid-July, I will be using the months between now and when I leave to start preparing myself for moving to a foreign country. When I finally do arrive at UWA, I will continue pursuing the same goal I had when I started at Trident, which was to obtain my master’s degree in mathematics. After getting my master’s degree, I am interested in doing research in the mathematics sub field that I am interested in, which is mathematical logic. I hope that with the research I do in mathematical logic, I can make complex mathematical concepts easier to understand, which I hope will ultimately make applying math to other STEM fields such as physics and engineering more convenient. While I am preparing, I will still continue to work as a math tutor here at Trident even after I graduate this semester. By doing this, I can continue to help future students with their struggles in math and leave to them the impression that at Trident Technical, there is always help around the corner and that the faculty at Trident truly cares about their student’s success. And even after I move to Australia, I will still keep in contact with Dr. Purcell at Trident and keep her updated on convenient study abroad opportunities in Australia that should could possibly present to the future students and faculty at Trident. 

I know that there are other students that enter this contest and share their experiences. I hope though that with my essay, I can be seen as the prime representative of what students here at Trident can accomplish and what they can give back to the college. Trident is a place where future leaders are made and anyone, no matter what their educational and financial background is, can make something of themselves. 

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