I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS). I am currently working as an intern for ConAgra Foods and will be returning next year for my master’s degree in NERS. I was born and raised in Olympia, Washington and decided to go to Michigan specifically for their college of engineering. I am kind of a sports and travel junkie. I absolutely love Michigan football and can be seen in the crowd yelling my loudest at EVERY home game. I also play intramural flag football, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee during the school year. Through the university and the Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program I have been able to volunteer internationally for the past three years. I’ve been able to volunteer in Honduras, South Africa, and Thailand thus far and I can’t wait to see what other crazy adventures are in store for me in the future. I also participated in a summer abroad program through the college of engineering in Berlin, Germany. Going to the University of Michigan is honestly one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to receive an education from such an amazing institution. I’m so thankful for my parents and the alumni association for supporting me throughout my entire time there!
When I decided to go to school 2,000 miles away from home, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about leaving behind everything that I had gotten to know so well. A new state, new friends, new experiences, and new challenges awaited me as I packed up all of those cardboard boxes and loaded them into the back of an SUV. There is an incredible amount of uncertainty which is attached to a decision of that magnitude, and that doubt is usually accompanied by feelings of loneliness and trepidation. Like you are embarking on a journey by yourself. However, very early on before I ever left for my first semester, The UM alumni association informed me of the great network of resources and insights that Michigan graduates had to offer. They are constantly trying to bring the Michigan community together and supporting the students who are currently enrolled. From a young age, I was told to dream big. At the time I didn’t really understand what this meant. In recent years these words from my parents have morphed to mean that I should first and foremost chase my academic ambitions. Funding a Michigan degree as an out of state student isn’t an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. My parents have sacrificed so much for me to get the education I’ve been striving for. The burden is a heavy one, and I am so thankful for my parents supporting me throughout my intellectual sojourn. Receiving the Roby M. Burley scholarship has meant so much to both myself and my parents who have worked so hard to support me and get me to the place I am today. It means so much to me that the Alumni Association has been able to support me and encourage me through the rigors of college. They have made that heavy financial burden a little easier to carry and with that I have been able to focus even more on the education I traveled thousands of miles to receive. I just finished my undergraduate degree in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences and am proud to join the ever growing Michigan alumni network. Hopefully one day I will be able to help others pursuing a degree from Michigan just like the alumni association has helped me. To this day I am still surprised at the number of “Go Blue!” cheers I get from all over the US. I can’t even express the amount of gratitude that I have for this network of upstanding individuals and I hope they are able to do even more great work for the community and Michigan students.
Forever Go Blue,
Drew C. Johnson