Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics Major Shines Bright as a Transformative Student

by Drew Gaidosh | Dec 06, 2023

smithAbigail Smith ’26 is a sophomore mechanical engineering and mathematics double major here at Marian University. In her spare time, she keeps busy as an academic tutor and by being involved with the Presidential Ambassadors, Association for Women in Mathematics, and Knights for Life. Beyond all of this, though, she is exemplary of Marian’s promise to provide an exceptional and transformative education to all our students. So, how is it that she became a Knight?

Before attending Marian University, Abigail was homeschooled. She explained, “Homeschooling provides the flexibility to pursue opportunities one may not have otherwise had. I, personally, was able to take a lot of ownership of my education… I had a huge say in what, where, and how I learned.” This flexibility is ultimately how she started her journey with Marian. A family friend had suggested our dual-credit program to her, expressing this was a great way to explore career options, secure college credits, and prepare for collegiate academics. Despite some (expected) nerves, Abigail felt right at home in the classroom—she resonated with the small class sizes, felt she was treated as an equal, not a high schooler in a college class, and enjoyed her professors.

During her junior year of high school, Abigail took a dual-credit physics class, taught by Professor Tanja Greene. Though Abigail was never interested in a science-based career, Professor Greene was able to show her the importance and excitement of physics—moreover, Professor Greene was genuinely invested in Abigail’s success and helping her find a career path best suited to her. It was through Professor Greene that Abigail met Dr. Jeff Carvell, who became paramount in her decision to pursue mechanical engineering. Like Professor Greene, Dr. Carvell took the time to walk Abigail through mechanical engineering as a career path, and provided advice on what she should study in high school to prepare herself, ultimately reawakening her interest in mathematics. This, along with support from her dad, a chemist, are what led her to pursue both mechanical engineering and mathematics.

Thanks to Dr. Carvell’s advice and Abigail’s own academic prowess, she was accepted to multiple, high-profile, engineering programs. However, her familiarity with Marian University, her relationship with our professors, and receiving a very generous financial aid package, made her decision clearer—attend Marian University. Abigail expressed an immense amount of gratitude for all Marian has done for her, especially for the generosity of our donors, saying: “I was beyond blessed to receive a full-ride scholarship for engineering—it made attending Marian so much easier.”

While she’s not certain what life after Marian will yield, she knows that her education and experiences, as well as the versatility of her two majors, provide opportunities for innumerable careers.

When asked what advice she would give to future Knights, she answered: “Don’t hesitate to take advantage of opportunities and see where they lead you. Pursue things that bring you joy and make you better as a person, and show appreciation for the people that help you do that. Even if things don’t turn out as you hope or expect, you will almost always learn something and grow in the process.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Needless to say, we are so thankful to have students, like Abigail, open to sharing their journeys. Abigail is a fantastic member of our student body. As she continues to grow personally, professionally, and academically, we know she’ll always be an influence on Marian University’s community.

News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
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