But once he visited campus, his mind was made up. “I fell in love with Buffalo,” he said.
UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ national reputation coupled with the university’s low tuition made his decision even easier: “Just knowing that my degree would be equivalent to an Ivy League degree was really the deal-maker.”
At UB, Roman has been immersed in research at the Energy Systems Institute with professor Jennifer Zirnheld, testing insulation samples to determine their strength. And during the summer after his sophomore year, he landed an internship working on power transformers for Consolidated Edison, a major utility company based in his hometown.
“Since the majority of the electrical network is underground in New York City, that’s what I was doing—I was helping to fix the electrical devices that failed and doing engineering analysis on them,” he said.
Roman and friends enjoying the snow.
And since Roman now knows how important firsthand encounters can be, he’s working hard to recruit new students to the field of engineering. Each fall, he visits his high school in Bayside, New York, to give a presentation that aims to not only spark interest in engineering, but also build a bridge from their high school physics classes to a college engineering program. Roman’s efforts have been so successful and rewarding that he helped Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society, start a similar outreach effort in the Buffalo Public Schools.
A slide from Roman’s engineering presentation to high school students.
“My goal was just to raise awareness of the field and have them think, ‘Hey, maybe this is the major for me,’” he said.
But Roman’s life is about so much more than engineering. In an effort to expose himself to as many different perspectives as possible, he deliberately set out to expand his circle of friends beyond those in the insulated bubble of engineering.
“I have my engineer friends who I work with in class, but the majority of the friends that I hang out with on the weekend aren’t engineers,” Roman said. “They are communication majors, psychology majors, business majors. That’s how I get different perspectives—from them and all of the people I meet through them.”
Last updated: May 20, 2013 3:32 am EST