Student Spotlight: Mike Andruska
Mike Andruska had a difficult time choosing just one area of science to pursue.
College of DuPage gave him the opportunity to search for the right fit, which led him to discover a strong interest in engineering, math and computer science.
"While I had taken physics in high school, I was not particularly interested in physics until I took it at the college level," he said. "College-level physics enabled me to examine principles I once understood only briefly in greater depth and detail and increased my appreciation for its effects on all aspects of life. True fascination with physics comes when you start seeing how it affects just about everything you do in your daily life."
In particular, Andruska enjoyed studying electricity and magnetism. During the summer of 2013, he gained invaluable experience working as an intern at Argonne National Laboratories in the Environmental Sciences Division.
"I had the opportunity to work with meteorologists who are developing digital visualization software for cloud analysis with the goal of better understanding the atmospheric processes which govern climate change," he said.
Andruska has been accepted into the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will transfer in fall 2014 to major in Mathematics and Computer Science. He thanks the many professors who have helped him along the way, including Mathematics Professor James Africh.
“He has truly been a great mentor for me and I feel grateful for all I have learned from him. I have developed a great appreciation for both theoretical and applied math,” he said. “As I continue on at UIUC, I plan to pursue my math studies further in hopes of incorporating it into my future career.”
Andruska's experiences at College of DuPage have prepared him for future success. In addition to relieving the financial burden of attending college, he knows his math and science courses are transferring to a top-level, four-year institution.
"Attending COD has been great because there is a lot more personalized attention here than at other schools," he said. "The math and engineering departments have some truly outstanding professors who have given me greater insight on the process of education itself. While I know I could have taken many of my classes at a four-year school, I actually learned the material just as well in my COD classes, if not even better.
"While it may sound rather simple, I realize that education is education and knowledge is knowledge. Being truly great at something means that you need to have a strong knowledge base in that area. While the value of the final degree itself is unquestionable, the knowledge that you have in that field is what increases your ability to be excel in a future career. Therefore, I believe COD helped me build the strongest foundation I could possibly have hoped for."
2014 College of DuPage