Why did you choose to attend UT Dallas?
Student Profile: Chelsey Hathman
UT Dallas junior Chelsey Hathman had butterflies in her stomach before she started college in the summer of 2009.
But she began to feel at ease once she met more of her peers in the Academic Bridge program. The group participated together in activities such as attending Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park, where Chelsey saw Legally Blonde, the musical.
“It just felt like college,” said Chelsey, who is a mechanical engineering major. “I didn’t feel like I was in a summer camp or summer program. It felt real. Also, I liked how when we did go to events and on field trips, there wasn’t a teacher or parent there. It was all students. So it made me feel like we’re just students hanging out.”
Another memory she has of that summer was taking the math assessment test, which the Academic Bridge program requires students to take so they can be placed in either calculus, pre-calculus or college algebra.
“I was just hoping that I did well so I could be in the pre-calculus class with the rest of my friends,” she recalled.
Like she had hoped, Chelsey did get placed into pre-calculus.
“I ended up doing very well in that class,” she said.
Academic Bridge has taught Chelsey the importance of time management and tutoring.
“If you go to tutoring and you do it over and over again, it becomes second nature,” she said. “I think tutoring is the major thing that Bridge has offered me and still offering.”
Chelsey credits program leaders such as Desta Seifu and Brenda Correa for motivating and encouraging her.
“She (Brenda) has always been helpful and if you ever need to talk to her she’s always there, offering you advice,” Chelsey said. “She’s always looking out for you as far as scholarships and financial aid goes.”
For Chelsey, Academic Bridge is like a family to her.
“I’ve met so many great friends there that are still my friends now,” she said. “And just having those people that are like-minded and want to further their education, they kind of push you to be better.”
When she graduates, Chelsey said she hopes to have a job offer with an engineering firm. If a job opportunity doesn’t arise, then she said she’d like to attend graduate school to study civil engineering.
Chelsey is the secretary of the UT Dallas chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. She is also a member of the UT Dallas chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.