Student Spotlight: Sam Liesman


Sam Liesman
Major: Engineering

Sam Liesman selected College of DuPage because he wasn’t sure what career to pursue.

“I didn’t know what to expect from college and I would have hated spending a lot of money just to end in the wrong place,” he said. “COD provided me with the opportunity to explore a bit of college life while keeping the costs down.”

He also was named a Presidential Scholar, a full-tuition award for high-achieving students, allowing him to save money for his transfer institution, where he plans to major in engineering.

“I first became interested in engineering through physics. It was interesting to me to learn about the properties of our universe and their applications in modern society,” he said. “Many of the machines we use today are black boxes to the average user, but I want to know how they work. Bioengineering just seemed like a natural extension of that desire to know more about how my body functions.”

In 2015, Liesman participated in a biophysics internship at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He studied the movements of “pili,” long, hair-like structures that cover the surface of bacteria and are used to attach to cells and infect their hosts. He said internships and research opportunities provide a testing ground for students who are undecided about their education and future careers.

“Internships such as this one allow us to explore professions without making a lifetime commitment. It can really save someone a lot of time and money if they learn early on that their chosen profession isn’t really what they want to do,” he said.

Liesman is currently at the University of Illinois studying mathematics and computer science. Although he has no specific career or educational goals beyond his bachelor’s, he is keeping all options open. He hopes to always be learning something new and would like to look back on his career and feel like he accomplished something.

College of DuPage certainly provided the structure that is helping him achieve.

“Talking with counselors helped me feel more comfortable transitioning to college, and Career Services provided me with key points in developing a resume,” he said. “I felt much more prepared to go on to a four-year college and even for life beyond that. COD’s Library has some pretty good books, too!

“Possibly the most important advice I have for students entering a field like engineering, and really anything anywhere, is this: Do not underestimate the importance of sleep. Nothing will affect your learning more than being tired in your classes.”

More about the Engineering program

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2019 College of DuPage