Students from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will walk across the stage on Saturday, Dec. 15 as they graduate from West Virginia University, ready to take on the world.
As Commencement is upon us, several of our Eberly College graduates reflect on their time at WVU and their plans for the future.
North Canton, Ohio, native Aaron Brake first came to West Virginia University as a forensic and investigative science major. However, after completing a research project rooted in statistical analysis, Brake made the jump to industrial math and statistics, which he completed in two and a half years.
“I like the inquisitive nature of statistics,” Brake said. “I did a research project that was highly statistical in nature, and I really enjoyed that. I’ve always enjoyed mathematics, so I decided to give it a try. I took a few statistics classes and absolutely loved them, so I thought this is what I want to do.”
Following graduation, Brake plans to work at the WVU Alumni Association to implement a data analysis program and eventually obtain a Ph.D.
Brake enjoys the statistics major because it offers many different career paths and credits the strength of WVU’s undergraduate programs for solidifying his decision to attend the University.
“I have a lot of familial ties here,” Brake said. “I’m a legacy student, but that didn’t influence me as much as the strong academic program and the really talented and driven professors we have working with the students.”
Brake recommends for anyone considering a STEM-related degree to give it a try.
“Applying yourself and really working hard is the key,” Brake said. “If you’re interested in pursuing any sort of STEM degree, I highly recommend looking at some mathematics classes because it can only help you. Mathematics is the basis of that, so I recommend trying to take some classes. It’ll only help you understand your own discipline more.”
Brake spent his semesters studying in the Downtown Campus Library’s Milano Room where his father, who attended WVU in the 1980s, also studied.
“When I came to tour WVU, my dad showed me a section of the library,” Brake said. “It’s so much different from the rest of the building, and I like to study a lot in there. If I had a favorite place on campus, it’d probably be there.”
Brake equates being a Mountaineer to being yourself.
“I think being a Mountaineer means hard work,” Brake said. “It means not letting people put you in a box that doesn’t fit you. To me, it means defining your own path.”