A senior mechanical engineering student has won the Midwestern State University Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) essay contest. Christopher Venegas’s winning essay was titled What My Liberal Arts Education from Midwestern State University Means to Me.
Venegas graduated from Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls in 2005 and from Vernon College in 2007. At Vernon, Venegas earned a Machining Technology certificate. As he searched for work, he realized that most jobs in his area of skills called for a four-year degree. In his essay, Venegas tells of his search for a school that would help him develop his skills and discover his hidden talents. During his search, MSU kept appearing on his list but Venegas dismissed it. “I initially wrote off MSU because I was not interested in going to what I believed was a big college where students would rather party than to learn,” he stated in the essay.
A tour of the McCoy School of Engineering put any doubts to rest. Instead of party people, Venegas saw hard-working students, who, like himself, wanted a well-rounded education to better themselves. He met professors who showed an interest in him. “I knew as soon as I left the campus that MSU was the right place for me,” he wrote in the essay.
In his classes, Venegas said he was taken aback by how integrated all of the different departments were with each other. “It was a breath of fresh air to see professional people working together to educate the students that came to them. I was at a place that actually understood their students’ needs. MSU provided the stepping stones I needed to leap from one subject to another, and succeed as I progressed,” he wrote.
Venegas said he decided to enter the contest because it would be a great opportunity to voice his opinions about his time at the university. “Whether I was selected the winner or not, getting my thoughts out on paper really helped to put my time here in perspective,” he said.