Success with a chance of adventure is the forecast for CAC’s May Student of the Month Brian Field
By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) program at Central Arizona College is a pretty big deal.
Thanks to a multi-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education, CAC has been able to add a slew of administrators, educators, peer mentors and an academic advisor with the goal of increasing the presence of underrepresented groups in STEM and other licensed fields.
One of the residual effects of the STEM grant at CAC has been the implementation of the STEM Club, a student organization aimed at providing a social forum for those with similar (STEM) interests. Until this academic year, the STEM Club only had a presence at the college’s Signal Peak Campus.
Enter Brian Field, a 33-year old student based out of CAC’s Superstition Mountain Campus. Field, a native of Bountiful, Utah, already was a STEM peer mentor when an incredible opportunity presented itself.
“They told me about the STEM Club at the Signal Peak Campus and asked me if I’d like to start one here. I said, ‘Heck, yeah, I would.’”
And so, with that, Field became the founder of the STEM Club at SMC as well as its president. Because of his efforts as the club’s founding member while maintaining a robust 3.90 grade point average, Field has been selected as Central Arizona College’s Student of the Month for May 2013.
“In a very short time, Brian has generated enthusiasm for the club by talking to classes and peers about his plans for the club,” Charlene Stapleton, CAC’s STEM advisor, explained. “On top of that, Brian is the type of student who always has a smile on his face and is dependable and enthusiastic about school.”
Field’s enthusiasm for school and the club are apparent when speaking with him. He describes the club as an organization that allows students who share a love of the STEM fields to come together for certain activities and volunteer opportunities. Some of the activities are off campus and have included trips to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, as well as the Kartchner Caverns. In short, the STEM Club affords its members the freedom to pursue their interests outside the classroom.
“We don’t really have any requirements as part of the STEM Club, so it’s all volunteers and we pretty much brainstorm and come up with ideas for things we’d like to do.”
Since STEM students tend to love experiments, many of the club’s members end up volunteering during CAC’s science nights that usually feature presentations and experiments led by CAC faculty. Having the members of the STEM Club present to help facilitate the science nights has proved invaluable to the faculty.
While the STEM Club at SMC appears to be on its way, so too does the life of Brian Field. Although he admittedly didn’t have a desire to attend college immediately after high school, he has formed an interest in meteorology. He is so fascinated by the study of Earth’s atmosphere as it relates to the weather that Field plans to enroll in classes at the University of Arizona and work toward a degree in meteorology.
“Whenever I tell people I want to be a meteorologist, they think I want to be on TV,” he said with a laugh. “But being on TV has never appealed to me. I want to do research. Yes, I’m totally a weather junkie and storm chasing would probably be awesome; but realistically, I could end up working for the government or the military because they are the largest employers of meteorologists.”
And as he prepares for his CAC commencement, Field is thankful for the opportunities that presented themselves to him at the college. The experience he gained has prepared him for life at the university level.
“All of the things I have been a part of and all of the planning and meetings and all of the activities that we’ve done has really helped pushed me to be more of a leader. It’s given me that experience that I’ve never had before. Actually being in charge of something and taking initiative will, I think, help me at the university and some of the research projects I’ll have there.”
When he’s not keeping an eye on the weather or corralling student organizations, Field considers himself to be an outdoorsman. He likes to camp, bike and hike, having hiked the Grand Canyon at one point in his life. Although his move from Utah to Arizona has put his love for skiing on hiatus, he still misses it and hopes to be reunited with the activity some day. And when he’s not daydreaming about hitting the slopes, Field is a bit of a musician. He plays the piano and is currently taking lessons at CAC.
“I love music,” he said. “It helps me cope with stress and life in general.”Field may have his sights set on a career in meteorology, but he’s not one to make predictions just yet. But if one had to guess, one could see a successful career in meteorological research (and a ski resort vacation) in his future.