Hello all! My name is AJ Phillips, and I am a sophomore from right here in Las Cruces. I attended Centennial High School as part of the first full graduating class. I’m double majoring in Electrical Engineering, with a concentration in Computers and Microelectronics, as well as Computer Science. Besides being a student, I am an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and I am currently constructing a research paper based on my research of the various effects that EEG test data compression has on subsequent processing operations. I am a member of the NMSU Triathlon Club, which entails traveling to compete in collegiate races and performing community service across campus and the broader Las Cruces community. I am also a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and the NMSU IEEE chapter. Outside of school, I enjoy playing music, including guitar, piano, and saxophone, in addition to training for and compete in triathlons across the Southwest region. I also love skiing and surfing. Attributed to Kyle Chandler, one of my favorite quotes is “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” It embodies my mantra of doggedly pursuing my goals to ultimately achieve them through hard work and dedication. In terms of my favorite song, I tend to gravitate toward singer/songwriters as a musician myself—I really like this not-so-mainstream song off Ed Sheeran’s latest album, Divide, titled “What Do I Know?” If you get a chance and haven’t already heard it, give it a listen. It’s about how simple it could be for everyone to change the world for the better.
I chose to attend NMSU because of the Conroy Merit Scholarship that the Honors College offered me. After I graduated high school, I spent my first semester at a university in California. It was a good experience, but I found out rather quickly that the educational value offered to me by NMSU and the Honors College was unmatched by the other institution. So, I made the decision to take advantage of the opportunities at NMSU, and I was fortunate to have the support of the Honors College as I transferred. So far, I have had a great experience as a Conroy Scholar!
There are countless things to appreciate about the Honors College. First and foremost, it gives me a great support network to help navigate everything that college throws at me, anywhere from course scheduling to scholarship and internship application guidance. It also offers unique classes not found elsewhere on campus and has Honors College scholarships to help fund our research experiences globally. Plus, the Honors College building itself provides a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere to catch up on homework. I would recommend the Honors program because it not only demonstrates that you went above and beyond in pursuing your educational interests during your degree, but it also adds another dimension to your education that you won’t find anywhere else at NMSU. I also might add that participating in the Honors program has completely immersed me in the Honors College, which, based off my experiences, is a great place to be to find out about all kinds of opportunities!
From my perspective having experienced two different universities, I would just remind students preparing for college to not discount the many advantages of an NMSU Honors College scholarship combined with the support and opportunities that come along with being part of the Honors College. Figuring out the best decision for you is never easy, but I can say from my experiences thus far that NMSU was a great choice for me! I am planning on going on to graduate school in a related technical field after I complete my undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I have no doubt that the Honors College will help me be in the best position to succeed as I apply to those programs.