Bryn Matheson.What makes Washington State University stand out from the crowd?

Applied mathematics and bioengineering major Bryn Matheson shared her thoughts on what makes WSU such a special place.

Name: Bryn Matheson

Graduation: May 2022

Major: Applied Mathematics and Bioengineering

Hometown: Everett, Washington

Activities: Math Learning Center tutor/grader, undergraduate research assistant, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority

Scholarship: O.H. & Ruth Verne Reaugh Scholarship

Q: What have you experienced during your time at WSU that will help you most in your future?

A: Throughout my time at WSU, I think that the most valuable lesson that I learned is to put yourself out there and ask questions! In my first two years of university, I was always too nervous to ask questions.  I thought that my classmates would judge me, or that my professors would be annoyed that I was asking a “dumb” question.

Once I started putting myself out there and asking my professors and peers questions when I had them, and it changed my entire college experience for the better! I realized that there is no point in struggling alone, and there was always at least one person who had the same question as me. I made friends with many more of the students that were in my classes, and I realized that we all felt the same way and that there was no need to be afraid.

Q: What made you decide to attend WSU? Why did you choose your major?

A: After attending Arizona State University for my entire first year, I decided to transfer to WSU and it was the best decision I had ever made!

I was tempted by the way random strangers could yell “Go Cougs” at each other, by the Cougar Football Saturdays, and by the vast opportunities that I thought WSU could bring me. As soon as I stepped on campus, I could immediately sense that “Cougs help Cougs” community feeling, and I knew that this was the right place for me.

The deciding factor for me was that when I met the other students in the mathematics and engineering programs. I found that not only are they outgoing and friendly (and know how to have fun), but also care deeply about their education and work hard at it daily. When I sit in a classroom at WSU, I don’t feel judged by my peers for asking questions or being confused, and I know that I could always turn to them for help if I needed it.

Q: Why would you recommend attending Washington State University? How have you benefited by attending WSU?

A: I would recommend Washington State University because of its “work hard, play hard” attitude. Not only do the students at WSU care about their education and want to do well, but throughout my time at WSU I have been able to make lifelong friendships that I will cherish forever.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow or prospective students? What can you recommend they do to succeed in your major or at WSU?

A: My biggest piece of advice to any fellow or prospective students in my major is to reach out to professors if you have questions! Your professor’s office hours will be your best friend, especially in the applied mathematics and bioengineering programs.

Reaching out to my professors allowed me to form relationships with them where I could feel comfortable asking questions and raising my hand in class, which made a world of a difference in my education. Based on my experience, I can promise that your professors want to help and see you succeed!

Q: What has been your favorite program that you’ve been involved with at WSU, and why?

A: My favorite thing that I have been involved in at WSU has been working in a chemical engineering lab as an undergraduate research assistant! I started doing research in May 2021 with an amazing graduate student in the chemical engineering program, and through this position, I have gained invaluable experience in a laboratory setting that has helped me get into graduate school. Not only did I gain experience, but through working in research I learned a lot about having patience and persistence.

By Bret Stav, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture