Profile: Ben Shudak
Ben Shudak knew early on he loved engineering and problem solving.
With his father and his uncle both engineers, Shudak was able to experience the profession first-hand. He sometimes would accompany his father to work and watch as tests were performed on various appliances. His interest grew as he listened to his father explain engineering principles behind the testing.
An engineer at a nuclear power plant, his uncle also helped spur on his fascination. In fact, Shudak came to consider his uncle's work as a dream job. "I've always wanted to work at a nuclear power plant as a fire protection engineer," he said.
That chance soon may come for the Buffalo Grove, Ill., native, now in his senior year as a double-major in mechanical engineering and physics at MSU.
Shudak said he never had heard of the university before interacting with an MSU student recruiter who was different than any others he had experienced.
"I felt like they cared about me, and, when I visited campus, I loved it," he recalled. "I knew it would be a great place for me."
Great it has been for the busy undergraduate who also makes time to be a violinist with both the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra and MSU Philharmonia. Last semester, he was the philharmonia's concert master and this semester is third-chair violin.
As concert master, Shudak said he worked to set an example for others by leading, encouraging and helping.
As it happens, engineering and musical talent tends to run in his family. Shudak is the youngest of five children, all of whom play musical instruments. He started on the violin at eight years of age, but took a break while in high school. He began to play again before coming to MSU.
Time spent with the SSO has helped Shudak learn to adjust to the demanding life of a double-major.
"The SSO has taught me self-discipline," he said. "I can't just wait until the last minute to do things.
"Each semester of school gets progressively harder, but I like the challenge," he added.Writer: Margaret Kovar | Photo: Megan Bean
Next week … Adesola Oje !