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Clarkson Student Spotlight: September '11

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Jake McPherson ‘12
Aeronautical & Mechanical Engineering

It appears that St. Lawrence County native Jake has tried his hand at a bit of everything while at Clarkson. He’s been a member of both the Formula SAE SPEED team and Leadership Corps, a Resident Assistant, and he’s learned the ins and outs of machining as an employee of Clarkson’s machine shop. Now he’s spending most of his time as a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity and Value U, a student organization that partners with the local community to address issues that today’s generation faces. We caught up with Jake to chat about his summer and the start of his senior year. Check it out.

Q: Why did you choose Clarkson?
A:  I chose Clarkson because of its high recognition as a top engineering university, and because of the SPEED programs. Also, it’s actually kind of nice to be close to home (Ogdensburg, N.Y.), since I can get a home-cooked meal once in awhile.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A:  Golfing, working out and spending time with friends and family.

Q: What unique experiences have you had at Clarkson?
A:  I was on Formula SAE for my first two years and I worked in Clarkson’s machine shop in the summer of 2009. While there, I learned how to use mills, lathes, and other machines. I also participated in the Emerging Leaders Program which consisted of some great leadership-based classes.

Q: What is your favorite spot on campus?
A:  My favorite spot on campus depends on the day. Most days, I enjoy being in the CAMP Building. It’s quiet in the atrium and the machine shop is right around the corner.

Q: What did you do this summer?
A:  This summer, I worked for Plattco Corporation out of Plattsburgh, NY. At first I was in mechanical engineering and eventually I moved to sales & marketing. I was sent down to Puerto Rico for four days to oversee a valve installation and gain some outside sales experience. It was awesome! I also went on several camping trips with my family and relaxed with friends whenever I could.

Q: What has been your favorite class so far? Why?

A:  Aircraft Performance and Flight Mechanics taught by Prof. Pier Marzocca. He is extremely knowledgeable, always willing to answer questions and he really tries to make the class enjoyable.

Q: Why did you choose your particular major?
A:  Originally I chose mechanical engineering but after my first year, I decided to double major so that I would have a wider variety of options upon graduation. With any engineering studies, it’s just incredible to be able to have an understanding of everything that is going on around you throughout the day. The simple things become much more interesting when you understand the science behind them.

Q: If there was a soundtrack to your life, what songs/artists would be playing?
A: Most songs written by Dave Matthews and John Mayer. In particular, the well-known line, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” I think every day should be lived to the fullest.

Check out more student spotlights!

jake mcpherson
Jake McPherson '12