I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital on a warm September evening just south of the UW-Madison campus. I was raised in a house on the other side of the city, the east side of Madison. Before I was old enough to attend school, my father told me I would observe my mother helping my sister, Xenia, with her homework; he said I looked like I was trying to understand her homework for myself (I honestly have no memory of this). What I do remember is being enthralled with thunderstorms at an early age – an interest I have carried with me throughout my life. Once in school, I learned hard work was the key to being able to accomplish anything one wanted to do in life. When a person is considered one of the best at something, they probably worked the hardest as well. Five years of the martial art Taekwon-do also taught me valuable life lessons, such as living your life with courtesy, perseverance, an indomitable spirit, self-control, love, and integrity.
I am currently in my third year at the UW-Madison majoring in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. My professional goals for the future include going to graduate school and eventually finding employment as a research meteorologist in Norman, Oklahoma. I envision working with other scientists to collect data, create research models, increase the understanding of complex thermodynamic processes at play in severe weather phenomena, and increase public safety by using advancements to create more efficient and timely warning systems. The Arndt Family Scholarship has been a huge stress reliever, more so for my family than me because they would have had to deal with the financial burden of two UW-Madison students, the result of which would have been large student loans. Now instead of money, I can focus on research and learning computer programming in my spare time, a skill that will become even more indispensable in my field as time progresses.