Friday, December 6, 2019

By. Elizabeth Jackson

Graduating from a class of four people to entering the University of Iowa can seem overwhelming, but Dan Fleming has made the most of his time here. A fourth-year student in the Chemical Engineering major, Fleming has been a heavily involved student during his time at Iowa. From research to student organizations to making some of his best friends, Iowa has proven to provide a world of opportunity to Chemical Engineering students like Dan.

What led you to the University of Iowa?

I was looking into engineering programs and knew I wanted to stay in the Midwest. I looked at a few colleges in the area, but Iowa had the best scholarships to offer me. It’s been the best decision for me because of the smaller program. There’s about 40 people in my class so you get to know everyone well including the professors. I know the professors by their first name, and they know me.

How did you know you wanted to major in Engineering?

I knew in high school that I was interested in math and science. I chose engineering just to choose something. I figured that the further I progressed in it I would decide if I enjoyed it – which I did. It’s an awesome degree to have because it gives you a ton of versatile skills. From the difficult curriculum to the breadth of the scientific material and the skills along the way. More specifically to Chemical Engineering, I knew it [Chemistry] was a subject I liked a lot and I still find it super interesting.

What involvements within your major do you have? Involvements on campus?

I have been a member of AIChE on the exec board, Theta Tau, and Alpha Phi Omega. I’ve also been an OnIowa! Leader and a member of Camerata singers.  I’ve gotten involved in research with Professor Coretsopoulos. He [Coretsopoulos] was my Principles of Chemistry professor freshman year and I remember really enjoying his class. So, I reached out two years later and asked if he was doing any research and he brought me on board. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy through CIMBA. I loved it, best month of my life. I went in the summer and had classes four days a week, but we were able to go on field trips on the weekends. I traveled to Florence, Venice, Pisa, and the Vatican City. We would talk about all these famous artists and stories in class then got to see them in real life art exhibits.

What opportunities has the department provided for you?

The department has led me to do research, but it also has given me relevant career advice in professional and resume building. Speakers are invited to the department and after they host their seminar you can introduce yourself. Sometimes, they will offer their card for future internship and co-op opportunities.

Biggest piece of advice for first year engineers?

Get organized. The biggest thing that has tripped me up is not keeping track of things during a busy week. It’s easy to get overwhelmed without a system. I use Google calendar and a priority sheet. Also, make friends with the students. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there – they can become study buddies. Professors are humans too; they want to see you during their office hours.  

What has been your favorite part of the University of Iowa?

All the memories I’ve made with all my friends. I’m just grateful for all the friends on campus and people I’m still getting to know. It’s awesome how interconnected the campus is. Every time I meet someone new, they know someone I know. It boggles my mind how everyone is connected. It’s an awesome place.

Top five favorite things about Iowa City?

The coffee shops, restaurants (I just went to Pullman Diner), athletic events, all the cools parks. There’s so much to do.