The day a Florida Polytechnic University admissions counselor visited Marshall Bassford’s high school changed the course of his entire future.
A brilliant student, Bassford completed an associate’s degree in creative writing while still in high school and planned to continue as a writer once in college. But his plans changed when he learned about the new university dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math.
“I had resigned myself to a writing or a business degree because it seemed practical. But when I got accepted to Florida Poly, I became excited about my future and my career,” he said.
Now, the electrical engineering major is preparing to graduate as part of Florida Poly’s inaugural class and reflects back on an academic career he has certainly made the most of both on and off campus.
Through the guidance and encouragement of his electrical engineering professor, Dr. Ryan Integlia, Bassford and fellow graduating class member, Michelle Holzemer, developed a workshop to teach other students about microcontrollers. Bassford and Holzemer guided their peers through writing code in order to create output signals that can control lights, motors or even prompt online activities.
Bassford has also taken part in two internships with General Electric during his time at Florida Poly. His first was working on a new ignition system in Jacksonville, and a year later, he wrote testing software for the company in Boston.
That experience earned him the opportunity to begin a three-year program at GE Aviation right after he graduates, where he’ll be helping create control systems that keep jet engines and air travelers safe. The program also provides credits toward a master’s degree.
Although he might have been a successful writer, Bassford says he can’t wait to embark on his future career path and use the knowledge and skills he learned at Florida Poly to help keep people safer in the skies.
Editor’s Note: This story is one of a series of stories featuring several of Florida Poly’s CLASS OF 2018 GRADUATES.