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World Traveler Finds Home with COSAM

Published: 05/14/2019

By: Carla Nelson

Auburn University student Will Pennington has lived in Atlanta, Indiana, Colorado, and even France, but he now calls Auburn home. The junior studying to earn a Physics and Political Science double major and finance minor has always been an Auburn fan. His father, uncle and grandfather are all Auburn alumni and Will attended Auburn football games all of his life.

“For me it was an easy choice,” Will said about choosing to study at Auburn.

Will’s father’s job relocated his family on a regular basis as Will was growing up, but Will said he’s thankful for the experiences living in different places offered. Living in France for two years when he was young offered him a unique cultural experience.

“It was a little tough because of the culture shock, not knowing anyone, and being the foreign kid, but it ended working out really well because it taught me to deal with adversity,” Will said. “My siblings, my parents and I worked together to learn French and get acclimated to the culture. It ended up being a really good thing for all of us.”

When starting school at Auburn, Will said he wasn’t sure what subject he wanted to study. He enjoyed learning Physics in high school, so he chose Physics – hoping it would be a good fit. He chose Political Science as a second major because he has always had an interest in politics. So far he said he has been happy with his decision.

“What I love most about physics is the problem-solving aspect of it,” Will said. “My favorite part of it is solving these problems that we are given in class and thinking about how that would happen in the real world.”

Will said he is strongly considering a career in Physics research. He has been involved in research at the Plasma Science Labs since the summer after his sophomore year.

“Right now I’m trying to figure out if that’s something I’m really passionate about,” he said, adding that this semester he is helping to build a plasma chamber. “We’re getting everything worked out, putting together different systems, and trying to bring it into one cohesive experiment. That’s really good for me right now in terms of learning lab skills.”

Will is also a Peer Advisor for the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) and was recently selected as a COSAM Leader.

“I felt like I could be helpful as a COSAM Leader,” he said. “I felt like it was something I could do to help people out and be an ambassador for the college that I’ve been a part of for the last few years. I thought it would be something that would suit my skill set and something that I could learn from as well.”

Will has also been a COSAM senator for SGA, was awarded the “Outstanding Sophomore” award in COSAM, and has played saxophone in the Auburn University Marching Band since freshman year.

“I have a lot of friends in band and we’re a tight group. They’re a lot of fun,” he said. “Game days are also a lot of fun – being in the uniform, performing, running out onto the field before the games … that’s super cool. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun and it’s rewarding.”

Will said he has always enjoyed being a COSAM student.

“I feel like I’ve done a good job at getting involved at COSAM, so that’s something that I really am glad that I took the initiative to do,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being engaged with the college in that way. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people around COSAM, including the faculty, so that’s one of my favorite parts about COSAM so far.”

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