Joe Barton





Computer Engineering
Class of 2017

Hometown: Rantoul, IL.

Other campus activities: Sigma Phi Delta Engineering Fraternity, iRobotics, Orange Krush

Why did you join EA? I saw it as an opportunity to improve my public speaking ability, something that I desperately needed as an underclassman. I also liked the outreach aspect of the organization and thought it would give me a chance to give back to the community that I grew up in. Since joining, I have been able to achieve both of these things because of EA.

What’s your favorite part of being an engineering student? I love facing a challenge, and I have the opportunity to complete an extremely demanding curriculum here. It is definitely grueling along the way, but whenever I am able to master a new concept or do well on a project, it&rsquos a great feeling. In addition to the challenge, being an engineering student allows me to solve real world problems and provides exposure to some really cool new technology.

What made you come to the University of Illinois? My hometown is right up the road from Champaign-Urbana, so I was very familiar with the University, especially it’s athletic programs from a young age. It is also one of the top universities in the country for what I was interested in studying, Computer Engineering. Add in the facts that the new ECE Building was scheduled to open up at the start of my sophomore year and tution to any comparable university in another state would have been more than I could afford, and the choice was pretty obvious.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursing a STEM degree? It’s definitely something worth going for, as long as you can manage your time well and aren’t afraid of a challenge. It will allow you to impact the world in a positive way and help you meet amazing people. The jobs you get after graduating don’t pay too poorly either.