Jens returned to school after a few years away and has a wide variety of scientific interests. He is pursuing a chemical engineering degree and has already published an engineering software paper. In addition to his courses and undergrad research activities, Jens is active on campus serving as President of the Engineering Society, President by proxy of the Fox-Bytes Computer Club and Student Government Senator. This Spotlight series recognizes a UWFox student's academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.
Name: Jens K. Carter
Hometown: Crystal River, Florida
Currently Residing: Appleton, Wisconsin
Career program/major: Chemical Engineering
What is your career or life goal?
My goal is to be active participant in the scientific pursuit of knowledge as an experimental physicist. Technically, I would like to be research engineer. Someday, I want to work at a place like Fermi National Laboratory or the Argon National Laboratory.
What led you to choose your program or major?
I took a few years away from traditional school, in that time I started studying things that interested me and retaught myself many subjects ranging from calculus and physics to computer science. With the substantial amounts of information that is accessible online, I found the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest physics minds from Leonard Susskind to Richard Feynman. My personal interest turned into an obsession that has brought me to UW-Fox Valley.
Why did you decide to become a University of Wisconsin student at UWFox?
I chose to become a student at UWFox because I needed a launching platform for my academic future. Studying here, I am able to save substantial amounts of money and attend the classes needed to transfer to my next 4-year campus.
Is there a UWFox professor or staff member who made a difference in your life or inspired you?
There are many influences in my scientific interests. Specifically, here on campus, two professors have taught me how to partake in true scientific research outside of the classroom. Professor Saleh Alnaeli and Professor Warren Vaz have each taught me a lot about the process of research that will help me in my graduate studies/research in the not so distant future.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming UWFox student?
Work, work hard and work often. Put yourself in an uncomfortable position every day, whether it’s inside a group on campus or inside the classroom. Learning to handle adversity and accomplishing complicated tasks is more stimulating and rewarding than anything I’ve come to know. Just make sure you are working towards something you love. Lastly, don’t let indecision be your downfall, act and take on an active role in your education.
Describe something unexpected that happened here at UWFox.
The most unexpected thing for me at UWFox has been the opportunity to start my undergraduate research career. Thanks to my advisors, I’ve spoken at a Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium/NASA conference, published an engineering software paper and have a few papers waiting for publication on research done on this campus. The most unexpected thing, however, was that I was given the opportunity to design, build and use a Cosmic Radiation Telescope. I never thought I would have the ability to dip my toe into the realm of experimental physics at UWFox.
When not in class or studying, what keeps you busy?
Mostly my extracurricular activities, from being president of two clubs, a student body senator, a member of the rocketry team and an undergraduate researcher. I’m constantly learning and trying to enhance my scientific toolkit. I’m a huge fan of exercising and meditation to relieve the stress that comes stems from social and academic stress.
What are your plans after UWFox?
My plans are to transfer to a 4-year institution. I am excited to get out of the cold for a while and continue my education in a new town with unfamiliar faces and new challenges. I am thinking either Missouri Institute of Science and Technology or North Carolina State University. I am applying to 6 schools for transfer. So, it is still somewhat up in the air. I am not 100% opposed at staying in Wisconsin and attending UW-Madison.
To learn more about returning to school to earn a college degree, call (920) 832-2620 to schedule an appointment with an advisor. More than 25% of our students are over the age of 22.
UWFox is part of the University of Wisconsin System and one of the 14 freshman/sophomore campuses of the UW Colleges. UWFox offers an Associate of Arts and Science Degree, the foundation to a bachelor’s degree and specialized professional and occupational degrees.