Today we speak with Lexi Basantis, a senior mechanical engineering major from Medford Lakes, Burlington County, who lives off campus with friends. Lexi will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.
Housing: Rents a house off campus
Hometown and County: Medford Lakes, NJ (Burlington County)
Creating Higher Aspirations and Motivations Program (CHAMP), Student Coordinator
Women’s Club Basketball, Club Swimming
Do you work on campus?
Yes. I am a student worker for the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. I assist with tasks, answer phones and give tours of the engineering building (Rowan Hall) to potential students.
Do you work off campus?
Currently I am working on a startup business called “Think Like a Girl” with a fellow engineering student. We are developing kits to get girls more interested in engineering at younger ages. In the summers I work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a mechanical engineering intern. At Goddard, I work on a project called the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) which will survey the universe for the location of exoplanets and evidence of dark energy.
Why did you choose your major?
I’ve always had a passion for helping people and I wanted to be able to use my love for science to do so. Engineering not only teaches the values of learning technical fundamentals but it makes you learn how to work hard and work with people as a team. Engineering is so versatile and with my degree my opportunities are endless.
One reason you chose Rowan?
Rowan has such a unique engineering program at an affordable cost. The program is really one of a kind: it teaches engineering through hands-on projects and learning rather than sitting in lectures all day. The skills I have learned through my classes rival those at huge state school and Ivy League schools. They make me way more marketable to companies in the real world. My first semester here I was using machinery and learning techniques that other engineering students only learn their junior/senior years. I am proud and grateful for the skills that I have learned through the program.
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student:
My busiest day on campus is normally Wednesdays. I will wake up around 7:30 a.m. get ready and have some breakfast. Then I will head to my first class, Advanced Manufacturing, which is an upper level mechanical engineering elective. After my 8 a.m. class, I will go to work at my part-time job as a student worker at the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering in the Dean’s office. Here I help the administrative assistants with any tasks, answer the main office phones and act as an ambassador of the college by giving building tours to prospective students. I will normally work a few hours and then head home before the rest of my classes.
While I am home I will normally go for a run if it is nice outside and grab a quick bite to eat. Sometimes, I will have a business meeting for my startup company and will head to Barnes & Noble on Rowan Boulevard to meet up with my co-founders or mentors. Right now I am currently in the process of creating a company called “Think Like A Girl.” Our team’s goal is to spread awareness of the gender gap in engineering which is something that is important to me. We strive to go above and beyond introducing young girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to allow for equal opportunities. I want to show young girls that engineering is everywhere within their lives while also inspiring them to find the innovation and passion within themselves.
Next I will go to the Enterprise Center building where I have my next class, Systems Dynamics and Controls I. For this class, one of our biggest projects is creating a system that will balance a ball on a beam at specific locations. My groupmates and I use different sensors and an Arduino code in order to accomplish this goal. We decided to make it a “surfing and wave” theme.
After this class, I head over to James Hall for my Finite Element Analysis class. After FEA, it is back to the Enterprise Center for my last class of the day, Biomechanics. After this class it is normally around 8 p.m. and I am STARVING. A few of my classmates and I will sometimes head over to Little Sicily’s near Rowan Boulevard to get some buffalo chicken pizza or to Samurai for some sushi. At 9 p.m., I will make my way to the Rec Center for club swimming practice. Normally this lasts about an hour and it perks me up for the rest of the evening which I spend doing homework and studying.
We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here.
Story organized by: Jen Green