May

22

Senior Wisdom: Logan Donovan

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Logan Donovan

Here’s Logan Donovan, who Athletics should really get in contact with. Congratulations!

Name, Hometown, School: Logan Donovan; Nellysford, VA and New York, NY; SEAS CS

Claim to fame? I was on ESC and spent most of my time doing policy work. I co-wrote Columbia’s Medical Amnesty Policy, got the undergraduate schools to come together, and pushed for pass/fail for non-technical electives in SEAS.

Where are you going? Right now I am traveling around the country for the summer skydiving to make up for all of the jumps I didn’t do during the school year. Starting in September I will be working at a startup called pingMD as a software developer here in the city. Looking forward to finally having time to hang out with everyone who will still be in the city since I never had time during school.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. There are far too many amazing clubs to participate in or awesome people to meet here; you have to be deliberate about your time. Do your best to talk to your friends and watch school events to see what is available. If something seems interesting try it out. If you don’t make a concerted effort, the semester will have flown by and you’ll still be wishing that you had gotten involved. That being said, you only have so much time, choose wisely.
  2. The people are the most amazing thing about this school. This place is very stressful; we even won an award for it, though their methodology is extremely questionable. When everything starts getting to you remember that your friends are there for even if you think you are just bothering them. Chances are everyone around you is feeling the same way and you’ll remember all of the late night conversations and adventures that you’ll have way more than whatever work you were doing.
  3. a. SEAS has an odd place at Columbia. We don’t overlap in coursework with any of the other schools, which I think allows us to duck some of the bigger tensions that exist between the schools. We end being proverbially patted on the head by other students who say it’s cute that you never leave Mudd. While we are in one of the undergraduate schools, in reality we are not separated from the graduate school of engineering in a meaningful way, especially when it comes to junior and senior classes. In some ways this is good things because we get more research opportunities but the mixing of students often creates a lot more tension in the end, despite what people say everyone does care about grades. Talk to your professors, TAs, and especially other students. Don’t let anything take away from your classes. Buckle down, find a few people in your class and hang out while you do your work. Debating problems with them will teach you far more than you would have learned in class and you won’t feel as isolated here. There is also a fine line between discussing a problem and telling someone how to do it, don’t cross it. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by not actually learning the material.

b. During your time here you will at times feel like you rule the world and at others that the test you just bombed is the end of the world. It happens to everyone, take a deep breath and go and get some food with some friends. I promise, in the end everything will be fine. Also, during your time here you will have many accomplishments and they are worth celebrating… responsibly.

c. Professors are more important than the class subject; you are paying a lot of money to be here so it’s important to get something out of class. Also for all of the engineering students who only want to take math and science classes make wise use of your humanities electives, they are worthwhile. Also, take CC or Lit Hum instead of Global Core, they are great classes and being in SEAS is not an excuse to be a bad writer.

Back in my day… I went to a school where 20,000 people crowded into a football stadium most Saturdays in the fall to sing the Good Ole Song, I miss the school spirit not the sundresses. I looked forward to being prepared for the “real-world” like all the 4th years I knew (there are no seniors at UVA, TJ believed that educated was a lifelong pursuit).

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I have jumped out of a combination of planes, helicopters, and even a hot air balloon 736 times while I’ve been enrolled at Columbia. No, I’m not crazy; I enjoy the feeling of flight. One day I want to jump into a Columbia Homecoming game and land on the field with the game ball – Athletics, we should talk.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Professor David Vallencourt, for honestly believing in students and wanting to improve our experience here. He believes that engineering should be exciting and hands on. Endlessly trudging through theory doesn’t always keep students motivated and engineering is about building cool things, we should do more of that.

My former CSA advisor Dawn Strickland for all of the support. Without it, I wouldn’t be graduating on time.

To my fellow students, who continually inspire me with all of your amazing achievements and general awesomeness, thank you for being my friends, supporting me, and helping to motivate me.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese

One thing to do before graduating: Make an effort to get to know at least one new person in each of your classes. Go get coffee or tea or whatever they drink. It’s so easy to go to class every day and sit next to the same people and not even know their name. Especially in engineering where all of your classes are with the same people.

Any regrets? Not having asked for help when I needed it, both with personal and academic issues. Meeting so many people in my last semester here that I wish I could have been hanging out with for the last 3 years. Not doing graphics for Spectator or joining ADI or SAE… the list goes on. No matter how hard you try, you can’t do everything while you’re here. I chose one path through Columbia, and it was the one that I needed to take at the time, so ultimately, I’m happy with it.

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7 Comments

  1. thank you  

    logan for all your contributions to SEAS!

  2. Anonamoose  

    +1 for Vallencourt

  3. Anonymous  

    I wish we had met sooner. Damnit.

  4. CC'14

    Student Council BADASS and the coolest person ever. Good luck with everything, Logan!

    • Steve C.  

      I support this comment. Logan, not only did you get to know Columbia well and quickly, but you stayed grounded, dedicated to improving the school, and supportive to friends throughout, even when you had to take a million classes each semester. I'm glad you're gonna be in the city so we can not leave Columbia together.

  5. CC '14

    Such a crush on you, hot damn.

  6. SEAS '16  

    "Take CC or Lit Hum instead of Global Core"

    LOVE IT!!!

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