Meet the Class of 2014: Andrew Janzen

Andrew JanzenHometown: Portland
Major: Engineering (concentration in electrical)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?

A: My Fox experience has been an amazing growing process. It went by very quickly. Much of my time was spent in the lab or working on homework; I loved it. Being at Fox has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to do effective engineering design and has given me a structured framework to learn new information.

There are a few people who have made a significant impact on my life while at Fox. Dr. John Natzke, George Kirkwood, Dr. Ed Godshalk and Joe Stupak have been amazing mentors who have gone out of their way to make me not just a better engineer, but a better person. They have worked with me on building circuits, gaining a deeper understanding of the engineering I was doing, and challenging me to do my best. I will forever be grateful for their support.

My engineering training at George Fox has taught me to think like an engineer, to believe that there is a solution before I even start solving the problem, and motivated me to strive for excellence. I have learned to be encouraging, to understand the importance of working with classmates and finding mentors who are doing what I want to do, and to choose to enjoy whatever I am working on. I do my best to go the extra mile when working on projects, always asking, “How can I challenge myself on this problem? How can I take this project from being neat to being awesome?” Personally, I have learned to schedule time to do the things that are important to me – such as spending time with friends and family. If I don’t, it doesn’t happen.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?

A: During the last four years I have had many experiences that have changed and matured me. As a senior in high school, I never would have planned on being where I am today. I have seen many times where, in retrospect, the hand of God has guided my decisions. Even some of my engineering mistakes have turned out to teach me valuable life lessons. For example, the summer of my junior year I was given the opportunity to research magnetic battery designs with Dr. John Natzke. Come to find out, the physics behind the device operation never would have worked – and I proved that in the lab – but the experience taught me the importance of really doing my homework and not believing everything I read, no matter how many patents the concept is based on. Throughout my time at Fox I have gained confidence that I can solve problems, even if I begin not even knowing where to start. There are many amazing students at George Fox, and meeting many of them gave me an opportunity to make and cultivate deep friendships. Going through the rigorous engineering program at Fox highlighted that life is much like running a marathon – living a balanced life and pacing yourself gets you further in the long run than sprinting.

Q: What’s next?

A: This summer I will be working developing magnetic instrumentation at Oersted Technology, and I will be studying electrical engineering at Caltech this fall. In the next few years I plan on getting a masters and PhD in electrical engineering, and then I am considering starting a business in the electrical engineering field. My long-term goal is to use my life and my engineering training to serve God, help others and be a blessing.