Hello blog readers! I’m Jeff Lowe, one of the newest student bloggers. I’m eager to provide some new and exciting posts to this already vibrant blog. Before I do so, I would like to introduce myself. I am what my friends refer to as a “Michigan Man,” but not in the sense that I am the epitome of a well-educated Wolverine that bleeds maize and blue and sets an example for future students. I am simply a person that loves the state of Michigan, of which the University of Michigan is certainly a big part. Beyond that, however, I love the people, the culture, the towns, and especially the weather (in a non-facetious way). I have lived in Michigan nearly my whole life; I grew up in Southeast Michigan and attended Michigan Tech for my undergraduate schooling. This has given me the opportunity to explore many of the destinations that the great state of Michigan has to offer. I consider myself an outdoor enthusiast and my favorite hobbies all involve being outside: hiking, biking, skiing, and playing tennis.
I am currently a third year Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering. And, at this point in the Ph.D. program, there are many days where I reconsider my decision to go to graduate school. My mind often wanders to what it would be like if I had taken that more lucrative industry position after obtaining my bachelor’s degree. I may have been living in a house instead of in an apartment, and could have ordered the steak last night instead of the chicken. But I do always come back to the real reason I’m here: I have a passion to teach. I discovered this passion as an undergraduate math tutor. I enjoyed the challenge of tackling problems from different angles in order to teach a topic in a way that resonated most with a student. I became a better problem solver and I was able to help students succeed. In my one-on-one appointments, I saw the students progress throughout the semester, many of which increasing their confidence and math skills with each week. Experiences like this are why I’m at Michigan, and they continue to motivate me, pushing me closer to that sometimes seemingly unattainable goal of achieving a Ph.D.
I look forward to writing for the Rackham blog, and I hope to share some of my experiences/expertise about Michigan with all of the readers out there!