As a 7th grader, Grant Gary (UVM Class of 2006) decided he could figure out how to fix the modem on his friend's computer. The Syosset, Long Island native was sitting on the floor with the computer in pieces when his friend's parents came home. "I can still remember the horrified looks on their faces!"
But Grant kept his head, put the computer back together, and when he turned it on, the modem worked. After that, he says, dissembling computers became a regular activity.
Grant's early successes foreshadowed great things to come at the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). As a member of the Mechanical Engineering program in the School of Engineering, Grant graduated Magna Cum Laude, was a member of the Boulder Society, Tau Beta Pi, and won the Dean's Recognition Award, John Outwater Award, the Eric B. Little Award and the Barbour Essay contest.
"I would describe my educational experience as a growth opportunity. My formal education allowed me to expand the limits of both my intellectual curiosity and personal discipline. My informal education was equally as valuable as I really learned a lot about who I am and what it means to be a leader."
"Grant was the first student that I got to know when I arrived at UVM in 2005," says Dean Domenico Grasso. "He is articulate, thoughtful, bright, and a big thinker. He became a major asset in implementing the reforms that have been taking hold in the College, and was outspoken in his support of them. I was very fortunate to 'inherit' him."
According to Grant, one thing he learned from Dean Grasso was how important it is to be a well-rounded individual in order to compete in today's job market. "CEMS can provide you with that type of education," Grant says. "Exposing your brain to different modes of thinking is the most stimulating and beneficial experience a human being can have, and that's what's going on now at CEMS."
UVM graduates always seem to speak of college life in Burlington in glowing terms, and Grant is no exception. "Burlington is probably the best college town you'll find out there. It's not so big that you feel overwhelmed, and it's not so small that you feel like there's nothing to do. The campus is flush up against the city and you really feel like you're part of a larger community than just UVM."
Grant spent the summer after graduation traveling, and then started graduate school at Stanford. "Grad school is hard. It is, however, an incredibly stimulating experience as I've been exposed to a slew of new ideas and people from all around the world. A lot of my work is done in groups and this is something that CEMS left me well prepared for."
Though he just started grad school, Grant is already thinking ahead to his future. Perhaps it's due to the fact that he's now living in Silicon Valley, where the entrepreneurial bug is easy to catch.
"I would like to work at a 'start-up' when I graduate," Grant says, "whether it's based on my idea or someone else's. However, I don't just want to make money, I want to make change. I know my desire to improve the world is a direct result of having been a student at UVM and the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences."