Who knew it was in my own backyard?

Name: Laura Wengert
Class Year: Sophomore
Major: Bioprocess Engineering
Hometown: Jamesville, NY
What else do you do here? I am a member of the honors program and am looking forward to expanding club participation after watching from the side-lines freshman year!

I first heard about ESF during my junior year of high school from a friend’s mom who works in the Outreach Office. Despite growing up a mere 20 minutes away in the small hamlet of Jamesville, NY, as well as attending multiple games in the Carrier Dome as a child, I never knew ESF existed. My friend’s mom asked me what I was thinking of studying in college and I told her I liked chemistry. She was quick to say how great the Chemistry Department at ESF was. I was more thinking on the engineering side, I told her. Not to be deterred, the next time we met she was armed with pamphlets about the Paper and Bioprocess Engineering Department. She told me that ESF didn’t have chemical engineering, but gave me information on similar programs at the college. I had no interest in paper engineering, but bioprocess caught my eye. I looked up the program on ESF’s website and read the description and sample curriculum. I did not understand the fancy class titles, but I was intrigued.

The biggest factors I was taking into consideration when choosing a college were cost, distance from home, and academics. I knew from my own research that ESF fit all of these very well for me. I decided to visit during the summer into 12th grade, in order to make sure campus was not so repulsive that it overrode those positives. The small size of campus did not bother me. In fact, I liked how compact everything was. I got the vibe that academics applied to real-world situations was a key focus. This was consistent with the reviews about the college I had read online by present and former students. Not to mention the bombardment of informational folders in the mail. The motto printed on every folder, “improve your world,” seemed well-chosen and had a nice ring to it. I did want to improve my world! As a bonus, the dorms were wicked nice. I felt like I could be comfortable living there (especially with a private bathroom).

At a family reunion later in the summer I discussed my thoughts with my Great Uncle who is a successful chemical engineer. He was very excited as well, telling me that this kind of program was gaining much importance and relevancy in the chemical engineering field, and thus it had his approval. After letting my thoughts sit for a while, I decided this was it.

I strongly encourage prospective students to visit ESF during the summer. With less students scurrying their bare feet around to class, it is much easier to look at what the campus design and architecture have to say. The sunshine shows how lush and green campus really is, something that could easily be disregarded at a different time if the weather were being a bit harsh. You may or may not get the instant, fleeting rush of excitement like the dining hall has an ice cream machine? I have to go here!! What is of greater importance is the development of the more permanent feeling, the one that takes some time to settle and says yes, I could see myself here for the next four years.



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