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Evan Micelotta

Did you know there's more than one way to join the College of Engineering undergraduate program? While most students who major in engineering enter through the Direct to College admissions pathway, MSE's Evan Micelotta took advantage of the additional capacity admissions pathway.

Evan Micelotta, Class of 2025.

How would you describe your freshman year at the UW? Did you have any pivotal moments or experiences you want to share?

My freshman year at UW was both stressful and exciting; living in the dorms for the first year and attending college for the first time was a really unique experience. Although it was not 100% sunshine and rainbows, I had fun my first year. The most pivotal experience I have had, which happened a little later than my first year, would be transitioning. Before figuring out that I was transgender, I wasn't able to pinpoint the major source of my mental health issues. College helped me look for information and resources to understand what I was going through and where to find help. Once I received extra support, I was able to start working on some of my current troubles. Although I am still struggling with mental health issues, I feel as though I am able to live more authentically now and actively work towards becoming a better person.

What majors did you explore as a UW pre-major? What thoughts did you have about engineering as a major?

Many of the majors that I explored before discovering MSE were in the field of engineering or related STEM fields. The three majors I felt the strongest pull towards were mechanical and civil engineering and marine biology. I knew that engineering would be complex and a large workload, but I was still excited to start learning. I like the impact that engineering can have on the world, and I wanted to try and help as much as I could.

How did you learn about MSE? What piqued your interest in MSE?

I learned about MSE is a rather unorthodox way, while watching YouTube videos. The videos, from Veritasium and SmarterEveryDay, both mentioned and briefly described MSE and its applications. The ability to shape, manipulate, study, and analyze materials with such precision ignited my passion for the subject. I began to research the field more and read about the new innovations currently underway.

What was it like trying to get into engineering as a first-year? What advice do you have for current UW pre-major students who want to pursue engineering?

Trying to get into engineering as a freshman outside of the department was stressful. The possibility of not getting into required classes made registration especially nerve wracking. Anxiety towards rejection was hard to overcome, but my interest and love for learning helped combat my concern. In my opinion, passion and work ethic are more important than the major you are assigned to when accepted to UW. My advice would be that, if you are spirited about your field, you should pursue that experience or similar ones. Many fields overlap and it may lead to another field that is more enjoyable. Try not to let the fear of rejection keep you from pursuing the field you love, I BELIEVE IN YOU!

What career(s) were you considering prior to declaring a major? Have your career goals changed, and/or how do you think MSE will help you pursue those goals?

I was always drawn to more hands-on careers as I love to tinker. Learning more about engineering as a field helped me decide which field to pursue. My goals have not changed too drastically, although the field I am pursuing has changed. I originally planned to apply for mechanical engineering, but my discovered passion for MSE changed my mind. MSE still allows for me to be hands on, but in a new type of way I never thought possible.

What are you looking forward to most about majoring in MSE?

I am looking forward to learning more about the field I am passionate about. Working with other like-minded people helps keep my motivation high. Bouncing ideas off each other and helping when at a roadblock is a great way to learn. Another exciting factor of MSE is the ability to translate into a wide variety of fields. All other forms of engineering always need materials, and MSE can help in the design or analysis process. New advances in the nano-science area are also very exciting and have the potential to change many aspects of our lives.