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In This Issue

       

When commencement ends, new job begins for Wallace Scholar

Landon Huslig leverages his engineering education and internships to launch his career

Landon Huslig, who has received the Wallace scholarship during his four years as an undergraduate at Wichita State, is this year’s captain of the WSU Baja SAE racing team.
Landon Huslig, who has received the Wallace scholarship during his four years as an undergraduate at Wichita State, is this year’s captain of the WSU Baja SAE racing team.

Landon Huslig is about to start living the dream he imagined for himself when he enrolled at Wichita State four years ago.

A senior majoring in mechanical engineering, he will graduate in May with a 3.7 grade point average, begin a job with Koch Pipeline that will involve traveling around the country, then marry his high school sweetheart in the fall.

“My education has been everything I hoped it would be,” says Huslig, 22. “Maybe even more, because I ended up getting involved in something I never expected.”

That something is Baja SAE, or Shocker Racing, as it’s more commonly known. Students who join the organization work as a team to design, build, test and race a vehicle in competitive events involving college teams from around the world. On this day, Huslig and his teammates were preparing to pull an all-nighter to get their vehicle in top shape for a competition in Auburn, Ala.

At an early age, Huslig knew he wanted to be an engineer.

“I’d always been good at math, science, problem solving,” he said. “Anything that involves design, I’m interested in.”

Since he had lived in Andover since age 9, he also knew that Wichita State had a good reputation for its College of Engineering. But what clinched the deal for him was being among an exclusive group of students to win a Wallace Scholarship, worth about $20,000 over four years. The competitive scholarship was established in 1976 by Cessna Aircraft Chairman Dwane Wallace and his wife, Velma Lunt Wallace. Their endowment supports scholarships for engineering students and provides funds for the College of Engineering. Since 1980, the endowment has benefited about 300 engineering majors at WSU.

“I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity the Wallace family has given me through this scholarship,” Huslig said. “It’s something I’ve considered an honor, to be a Wallace Scholar.”

Having a generous scholarship allowed him to focus on his courses and on getting the right kind of work experience, instead of having to take out student loans and accept any job that came his way to cover the cost of his education, Huslig said. He worked for two years as an intern at Textron.

Getting the right kind of work experience helped pave the way for his upcoming job at Koch Pipeline, where he will be a rotational engineer, someone who travels around the country performing different kinds of jobs to get a broad range of experience and develop skills. After working for a few months in Wichita, he’ll move to Corpus Christi, Texas, then to Minnesota.

“I haven’t traveled around the country that much, so I’m excited about doing more of that,” Huslig said. “I’ll have plenty of opportunity to find out whether I like working in the oil and energy industry.”

Commencement, a new job, travel and marriage. The milestones of adult life are speeding by for Huslig, who just four years ago stood with a group of nine other high school seniors who had just won the Wallace Scholarship. “A lot has happened for me,” he said with a smile, “and a lot more is about to happen.”