My name is Ashley Philbeck and I am currently a sophomore transfer student majoring in environmental science and humanities (specifically history), with a minor in sustainability. I am the co-president of the Florida Tech Environmental Club, a resident assistant for Harris Village, and I work at the Rathskeller. I am also the short story editor for the Kaleidoscope Literature and Arts Magazine and I’m in the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Sailing Club. After I graduate from Florida Tech (hopefully with a masters in environmental resource management), I plan on enrolling in the Peace Corps for a few years. After that, I guess we’ll just have to see!
I grew up in Palm Bay, Florida, only a few minutes away from Florida Tech, and I’ve lived in Florida my entire life. Despite growing up so close to Florida Tech, I still decided to come here over the other schools I applied to for a variety of reasons. A big reason for me, besides Florida Tech being a top tier university, was the scholarships and financial aid options Florida Tech offers. Just upon applying, you may be eligible to receive a merit scholarship from them. You can even get a grant for visiting campus! They also allow you to spread payments out throughout the semester. These options made Florida Tech more affordable to me and even allowed me to stay on campus, an option I never imagined possible if I choose to come to Florida Tech. I wanted that more than anything because I wanted to be a “real” college student. That’s not to say I couldn’t if I lived off-campus – that’s just how I felt.
Another thing I really liked about Florida Tech was the high number of international students. I have always had a fascination with other countries (their cultures, languages, customs, etc.) and I was genuinely excited to make friends with people from other parts of the world. I have friends and acquaintances from Azerbaijan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, India, China, Venezuela, El Salvador, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Germany, Ireland, England, Spain, the Netherlands, Egypt, Aruba, Curacao, Zimbabwe, Australia, and more. The list goes on and on. It’s really cool to have friends from all over the world. And if that doesn’t excite you, think how fun it’ll be to be watching the next Olympics and pointing at every country you have a friend from. J
More importantly, though, are the resources Florida Tech provides. I really like that Florida Tech was a smaller school and I love the camaraderie of it all. They really do try their best to give you the resources you need to succeed. There’s an Academic Support Center right next to the library that offers free tutoring. The teachers are fairly open and supportive if you actually try to make an effort to go to class and do your work and if you go talk to them when you’re struggling with an idea or concept. They want you to succeed. And you know what else? They’re actually pretty cool! Don’t believe me? Check out the office of my advisor for humanities, Dr. Perdigao.
Pretty awesome, no? And my other department, the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems (DMES), within the College of Engineering…they do a picnic every semester where the professors grill for you and you get a free DMES t-shirt. You get to see all the teachers and other students in your department and it’s really nice and homey.
In all honesty, the faculty at Florida Tech really sealed the deal for me. They make you feel like you’re wanted and they do their best to help you succeed. These are all things you might not see at a bigger institution. It’s reassuring to know that your professors and advisors do actually care. So, that’s why I love FIT. <3