Jaclyn Wilson graduating only will graduate at the top of her class with a near-perfect grade-point average, but, by June, she also will receive an associate of arts degree from Tacoma Community College.
And that’s not her only academic achievement. Wilson is getting ready to complete the entire college-level calculus and engineering physics series for the University of Washington’s electrical engineering department prerequisites.
“School is really important to me because I’ve always been really motivated, and I have high expectations of myself in all activities,” she said.
To complete the engineering prerequisites and obtain a two-year college degree this year, Wilson took more than a full load of college credits for the past year. She also took a three-quarters load during the summer.
While she’s pursued various interests, including athletics and leadership activities at her church, Wilson has stayed focused on her future goal in electrical engineering. Inspired by her father, an engineer, she’s been interested in the profession as she’s grown up.
“I don’t just want to be in the field, I want to help advance it,” Wilson said.
She has shadowed her father at work and has served as an intern for Tacoma Power through TCC in addition to taking rigorous math and science classes. Electrical engineer Sarah Szewczyk, her Tacoma Power mentor, said Wilson stood out with her work ethic, demeanor and motivation.
“The way Jaclyn approaches and completes work speaks to her very strong analytical skills, which will serve her well in rigorous engineering and science coursework,” Szewczyk said. “She was also very courteous and professional, truly a joy to work with.”
Outside of school, Wilson has been committed to leadership activities at church. Active in the Bible Quizzing trivia program, she’s competed regionally multiple times and led a team as captain at the international level.
“Jaclyn has been the most productive, most consistent and most accurate in the toughest events in the entire district of 100-plus quizzers over the past three years,” said Scott Peterson, a quizmaster and judge for the Great West Invitational who is the district coordinator and coach for the Pacific Northwest District of the Bible Quizzing Program. “She has demonstrated the ability to push herself to prepare better, execute under pressure and master advanced quizzing concepts and strategies.”
Wilson hopes to attend the University of Washington and continue to play tennis. Her long-term goal is to obtain a master’s degree in science and electrical engineering.
Category: Science and Technology
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Joe and Terri Wilson
Activities/achievements: TCC Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society; National Honor Society; nine honors classes; Running Start; JV fastpitch MVP; swim team; tennis; concert band; Bible Quizzing awards and team captain in international competition; church youth group leadership team member; Vacation Bible School leader; math tutor; Tacoma Power intern; Hutch High at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; volunteer for church and community activities.
Favorite teacher: Dave Whitesell, world history. “He taught me many valuable communication and presentation skills that have benefited me in my college courses.”
Best thing about high school: “The wide range of academic options available, such as various honors courses, AP classes and the Running Start program.”