Student Spotlight: Brenden Yung
Brenden Yung developed an interest in engineering when he was introduced to physics and advanced chemistry during his junior year in high school. A trip to Fermilab to speak with a scientist further inspired Yung to become an engineer.
Now at College of DuPage, Yung is part of the 2+2 Pathways to Engineering program with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It's a unique program that allows qualifying students to complete their first two years at COD and then transfer seamlessly into UIUC's College of Engineering.
"We have both a professor from COD, Dave Smith, and a counselor at UIUC, both of whom we can contact if we ever have any questions about course planning," he said. "This is one of the most helpful things, because these program advisors know who we are and what we need to do to succeed."
Initially Yung came to COD when he was named a Presidential Scholar, which comes with a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.
"In this economy, the choice was clear," he said. "To save thousands of dollars each year won hands down. But on top of that to be named a Presidential Scholar was prestigious!"
It was during a meeting for Presidential Scholars that Yung found out about the Pathways to Engineering program. And the program is helping him toward his goal of becoming a nuclear engineer.
"I might even double major in particle physics and work on developing nuclear energy," he said. "I want to solve the future problems the world might have. As we head toward the future and run low on fossil fuels, nuclear seems like an unknown and misunderstood energy source.
"COD is helping me achieve these goals by letting me take all of the basic classes and allowing me to see whether or not this is something I want to pursue. Each day I learn something new that I am happy to be learning."