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Name: Katie Petty
Year: Master's Student
Major: Civil Engineering
Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, Katie Petty wanted to continue her engineering education at a university closer to her hometown. She had visited Auburn a few times as an undergraduate and felt drawn to the university and its people. Katie also knew of Auburn Engineering's reputation for excellence in engineering education and decided to tour the college. During her visit, Katie was able to meet many of the civil engineering faculty members and witness their enthusiasm toward helping students learn.
"The interest that the faculty showed in their students convinced me that Auburn would be a great place to attend," Katie says.
With an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences, Katie knew that civil engineering would help her to apply her knowledge of hydrology, geology, ecology and atmospheric sciences to real-world practices. Though her graduate classes are challenging, Katie feels at ease going to professors or fellow students for help.
"Professors are always available and willing to help," says Katie. "They seem sincerely interested in their students' learning of the material well enough to apply it rather than just memorize."
"There is also a sense of community among engineering students at Auburn," she adds. "If I ever have questions, my classmates are more than willing to answer them."
Through a graduate assistantship, Katie has been able to gain valuable skills and work experience to prepare her for a future career. "My advisor encourages me to work hard but gives me a certain degree of freedom and responsibility with the research," she says.
Katie's fondest memory of her time at Auburn so far has been the welcoming community that the university offers to students, faculty, staff and alumni. "It is reassuring to be a part of such a strong institution that has so many people who are proud to be a part of it," she says.