Cicero, New York, native Travis Gang (CEMS School of Engineering Class of 2008) knew at a young age that he wanted to be an engineer. It didn't hurt that his high school offered a program called Project Lead-the-Way, which gave him, starting in 9th grade, an opportunity to take courses throughout high school in Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Engineering Design and Development.
This area of study obviously suited Travis very well, as he wound up finishing high school in the top 2% of a class of over 650 students. This successful student was also a successful student-athlete, playing on the football team (offensive guard) and track (shot-put and discus) all through high school.
Travis looked into several New York schools, but was initially intrigued by the University of Vermont because two of his cousins had attended UVM and loved their experience. So, he made the five-hour drive to check out the campus.
"My mom and I came to visit and when we arrived on campus, the first thing we saw were two guys riding by on huge unicycles, which I thought was a great sign," Travis says. "After spending the day, I knew this was the place for me. And I haven't been disappointed one bit. I have about forty people in the senior class of the Mechanical Engineering Program with me, so I know everybody I'm working with. There's always someone around to help you out and you can depend on each other. I think the size of the school is perfect."
As a senior, Travis is now working on his capstone design project. He's also had the opportunity to work in the research lab of Professor Frederic Sansoz.
"Dr. Sansoz has been a big factor for me, he's great teacher, and I feel my work with him has given me experience with research that can help me in the future." says Travis. "But I want to be careful here, because all the CEMS teachers are great. They don't hesitate to give me career advice and direction. This last year at CEMS is especially exciting as I have the opportunity to put all the theory I've learned to use in my Senior Design class with Dr. Mike Rosen. I feel physical applications of what we learn such as the Senior Design course and the engineering labs are important in preparing us for the real world."
Ah, yes: the real world. As a senior, Travis is weighing his options because "the real world" is coming fast. He had always planned to go straight to graduate school from CEMS but is not so sure now. According to Travis, "My current plan is to look for an engineering job in the sustainable energy field and see how I like it, and then go to grad school in a couple years. I will be looking for a job soon and hope to stay in either Burlington or the Syracuse area."
"I feel that UVM's philosophy on the environment has had a very big impact on the way I think about sustainability," he says. "I probably wouldn't have ended up with the desire to enter the sustainable energy field without that. I have had a very well-rounded experience at the College and University and I would absolutely encourage other potential students to come here."
Travis has worked hard and done very well for himself throughout high school and college, and today, his academic achievements, coupled with his engaging personality, quiet confidence and sense of humor all point to a young man with a very bright future.
"I'm really looking forward to graduating, getting out in the real world and seeing what life is all about," Travis says with a big smile. "I'm sure it's going to be a lot different, but it's exciting. I didn't think I'd be ready for it, but now I can't wait!"