17 Sep Alumni Board Current Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2015 Scholar Jonathan Schlagel
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.
Boettcher Scholar Year: 2015
University: Colorado State University, Mechanical Engineering
After college, I plan to pursue unique and effective ways of using engineering to help with the development of Latin America. These efforts will include learning Spanish, getting involved in a community internationally and finding engineering connections that will allow me to directly serve the needs of that community. I am unsure how this will happen and will likely involve getting involved with graduate research in developmental engineering. I will also likely pursue an internship with Engineering Ministries International to practically learn how engineering can be used in developing countries.
Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them.
Within the university, I have tried to focus on two primary clubs: Outpost Ministries and Engineers Without Borders. Through my time in Outpost, I have really learned how to create community, support friends and grow as a leader. As a small group leader, I have learned the importance of outreach and the power of support. Joining the club Engineers Without Borders has shown me how to use my engineering tools in a practical project. I have been able to be a leader on the structural design process for building a community center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Tell us about an important mentor you have had.
Through my time at the university, one of my biggest mentors has been Glen Gilbert. He is the practicing engineer who works with Engineers Without Borders. He has spent countless hours of his time to walk us through the structural design process. He is always willing to take more time to work on the project so that we have a better understanding. Also, in his life, he plays a vital role in the support of recovering drug addicts and community members. He has mentored me in life, engineering and my relationship with Christ.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I am not sure who said it, but the phrase “your thoughts influence your words, which influence your actions, which influence your habits, which influence your character.” This advice has changed the way in which I have lived my life at school. The aspect I changed was to make sure my thoughts about myself, activities and others were always positive. Through working on the way that I think about situations, it directly influences what my actions are. Although I directly try to change my daily actions and habits, the first step to changing anything in my own life is to first change my mentality.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why?
If I were able to have dinner with any one person in history, I would have it with Jesus. In my opinion, he is one of the most influential changemakers, and his teachings have drastically changed the world. In his lifetime, he established the foundation for the modern church that has touched every country in the world. Through his lifestyle, he was one of the greatest society changemakers, and I want to be able to positively influence other communities just as he had.