Future Engineer Finds The Key To Success

By Kerri Sandaine Lewiston Tribune, Idaho

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet Roslyn VanSickle, a future engineer who will graduate Saturday from WSU with dual degrees in bioengineering and mechanical engineering. And yes she is graduating with honors and a 3.89 GPA. CONGRATULATIONS!


The hectic days leading up to college graduation can be daunting, but a young Clarkston woman discovered a secret.

After staying up until 3 a.m. to finish a project earlier this week, Roslyn VanSickle was all smiles. Completing a five-hour final exam and burning the midnight oil to put the polishing touches on a presentation turned out to be a good time.

"If you love something, it's not going to be hard," said the 23-year-old daughter of Randy and Robin VanSickle of Clarkston. "Engineering is not difficult to me because I enjoy it so much. When I was studying at 3 a.m. this morning, I was listening to music and thinking how fun it was."

VanSickle, who earned dual degrees in bioengineering and mechanical engineering, graduates Saturday with honors and a 3.89 GPA.

She is one of roughly 3,000 WSU students who are expected to participate in commencement ceremonies beginning at 8 a.m., 11:30 a.m and 3 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum. VanSickle will be wearing her cap and gown at the afternoon session.

The seeds of her dream to become an engineer were planted at an early age. VanSickle and her twin sister, Raeann, gravitated toward math and science when they were growing up in Clarkston, where they graduated in 2013 at the top of their class.

Raeann is working on a master's degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The twins keep in close contact through frequent texts and phone calls.

"My long-term plan is for us to move in next to each other," VanSickle said. "In my dream world, she has chickens and I have dogs and we eat fresh eggs every morning."

The WSU grad is hoping to find a career that allows her to help people through the development of medical devices.

After Saturday's ceremony, she plans to travel for a few months while job hunting.

"I'm going hiking in Utah and I'm really excited," she said. "Job hunting is freaking me out, but everyone keeps telling me it will all be fine."

VanSickle said she had a good experience at WSU, thanks to finding friends with similar interests and joining organizations for women engineers.

"I was so fortunate to find people here to encourage me to do what I want to do," she said. "I got paired with engineering students early on and that really helped."

For two years, she led a Science and Engineering Day for kids in March and would like to start a similar program wherever she lands a job. Helping young people discover their passion for learning is a great feeling, she said.

"It was so fun to see the kids get excited about math and science. After I work in the engineering field, I'd like to become a teacher with an industry perspective at the college level. I think real-life experience is so important."

VanSickle said she enjoys structure and academics, especially when she's working with people who are motivated in the same areas. She isn't into the party scene and prefers to spend her rare time off at coffee shops, having one-on-one conversations with close friends.

But you probably won't see many photos of her lattes on Instagram.

"I'm really bad at social media," she said with a laugh. "I haven't even posted my pictures of Ireland from two years ago."

As she prepares for the next chapter, VanSickle said she's looking forward to the future, but was sad to say goodbye to professors and her church friends at Living Faith Fellowship, where she led a Bible study through campus ministry.

And she has some advice for small-town kids who want to become engineers.

"Go for it. It's OK to be ambitious."

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