Dual Degree Student Voices

Christina Bowen

Christina Bowen
Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Dual Degree Program

BS Math 2014
Hawai‘i Pacific University

BS Electrical Engineering
University of Southern California

As a high school student, there is a lot of pressure to make a decision on what you want to do for the rest of your life and how you will get there. Is college a place to help achieve your goal or is it a place to help you determine what your goal is? For me it has been a little bit of both. I did not have a clear understanding of what I wanted to be but I knew that the career that I would choose to pursue would have to allow me to do lots of math. Math is my passion, but there is an immense number of possibilities that allow me to use this skill. I was instantly intrigued by HPU’s 3-2 engineering program. It provided a number of opportunities like allowing me to pursue both a degree in Applied Mathematics and Engineering of my choice. I was not sure as to what kind of engineering I wanted to study yet, but it was an interesting field that I wanted to explore. The three years here at HPU have allowed me to make a decision on electrical engineering. I also chose this program over other colleges because HPU was financially realistic compared to other schools and after three years I would be able to finally leave Hawaii. I was born and raised in Hawaii and at the age of 18 I was not ready to leave. Now, after experiencing what college is like, I am ready to take the next step in my journey and travel to one of the two partner schools on the mainland.

If I had to go back and decide again I would still choose HPU. The university has given me one of the best experiences of my life. Everybody is so friendly and I have made valuable friendships and connections. I truly feel like a global citizen. Also, the advantage of a small school is the small classes. I really got to know my classmates and my professors who are very helpful when assistance was needed. The classes were interactive because of the small class size which allowed me to pay attention and actually make an effort of learning compared to being lectured at. I was never afraid to ask questions when I needed to because of the comfortable, encouraging environment my professors were able to create. Many of the professors I have had the honor of being taught by have really opened my eyes to the importance of education and of being culturally aware. My general education professors on several occasions have been so influential and passionate about their own field of study that I have considered switching my degree plan from engineering and math. Again this is an almost because my math professors have also been just as amazing. The have successfully made me more excited about what the future brings as I continue to pursue a career in STEM. They have not only taught me new math topics but they have also rekindled my passion and excitement for math. I will carry these lessons with me as I continue my educational and professional journey.