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Challenging Major Reaps Rewards for CEAS Student

March 2, 2018
Woman smiles for portrait near Classroom Building
UW architectural engineering student Bethany Orrick chose UW because of the strength of its engineering program.

When she journeyed to Laramie, Wyo., from her native Texas, Bethany Orrick wasn’t sure what she’d discover on her visit to the University of Wyoming. She ended up finding her ideal educational institution.

Now a senior, Orrick grew up in Forney, Texas, just outside Dallas. Among her college requirements were an ABET-accredited engineering program and a beautiful campus.

“When I toured UW, I found that I would also get to meet tons of wonderful people,” she says. “I took a chance, and I am so glad that I did.”

After choosing the College of Engineering and Applied Science, Orrick needed to find a major within the college. She landed on architectural engineering despite not having a clear understanding of what the program entailed.

“I knew that I felt drawn to engineering, but nothing more than that,” she says. “Architectural engineering seemed like as good an option as any. Now that I am a senior, I know that I couldn’t have made a better choice. It was definitely a challenge at the start, but now I feel at home.

“The professors are great, the classes are interesting, and sometimes—on very rare and special occasions—I would even call the masses of homework fun.”

The unique nature of UW’s architectural engineering program has prepared Orrick for situations she’ll face in her chosen career path, and in the next step of her education. She has a structural emphasis but hopes to explore other options as a graduate student.

“Though I imagine it is different for everyone, I love encountering something that I initially do not know how to do and being able to figure it out,” Orrick says. “The sense of accomplishment at the end is amazing. Every time I encounter a problem, I get that little taste of victory.”

Orrick has gained a new perspective on academics and college life, thanks to UW. It challenged her from the very start, and has given her motivation to pursue what she wants. She encourages prospective students to consider the program.

“Don’t choose architectural engineering because you want something easy,” she says. “Choose it because you want to challenge yourself every day. As far as the engineering majors go, this is the one for you if you like the idea of designing big things and have a bit of an artistic side. You won’t be an architect at the end, but you will have a whole new outlook on the world around us.”

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