Geek of the Week: Kenny Choong, Senior, Civil Engineering

With the freezing cold of winter slowly creeping in, the days getting shorter, and the leaves quickly disappearing, the sprint to final exams is nearly here. Despite semester activities intensifying, Kenny Choong, a senior in Civil Engineering, took time out of his busy schedule and met with the Oredigger to discuss some of his experiences at Mines.

[Oredigger] First off, why did you choose Mines?
[Choong] I actually applied to School of Mines as a joke, but after I found out more about its reputation, I chose Mines because of its great reputation in the industry. Originally, I’m from Houston so I thought about going to a large school such as the University of Houston. But the location, size, and the close proximity to Golden, Denver, and to the mountains really made Mines stand out.

What are your post graduation aspirations?
I’ve applied to the combined Masters program here at CSM, so grad school will be the next step. My specialty is structural design, so I would love to work with buildings and the actual design of them… I’ve always really liked architecture and had originally planned to get a degree in architecture after Mines, but we will see about that, because four more years of school would not only be a lot of money, but it is a lot of time spent in school.

What makes you a geek?
Well, I’ve always been really interested in science. When I was younger, I wanted to be one of the scientists who blow stuff up, but as I got older and found out more about science, I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do. Also I am very technologically savvy, and I always have the newest and best technology. I don’t play video games, but I have every gaming console simply because I like technology. Also I study a ton, and friends even joke that I study too much because I am always extremely busy with school and all my other activities.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
I am a member of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and for the last two years I have been the treasurer for the house. Also, I am the president of the Inter-Fraternal Council here at Mines, and I am a peer mentor and really involved in student life. I really enjoy the peer mentor program and getting to work with all the different people, I am a lead so I get to not only help mentor the new students, but I mentor the newer peer mentors and help out with the summer peer mentor program as well. I have dabbled in MAC, but since my sophomore year, I only really help out with the large events MAC puts on such as E-days. The best part about being involved with student life is all the free food.

What is your favorite class you have taken at Mines?
I would say my design classes, I really enjoyed steel and concrete design, as well as my EPICS classes. For EPICS II, I did the concrete canoe building epics, so I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the class.

What has been your least favorite class?
The whole math sequence was terrible, math is just not fun.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far at Mines?
Well other than almost being done with school, I actually have two things. First, I am really proud to have joined Greek life and become so active in it. I was originally advised from family and friends not to join a fraternity because when people hear fraternity, they think of “Animal House.” But here at Mines, for the most part, Greek life is not like that at all. Second, working extensively with student life has been awesome. It has been a great experience and I have gotten to know a lot of the higher ups on campus such as the dean and I also have been able to be on search committees for finding new staff members. I helped in the search for the new CASA staff and helped hire the new director of student activities. Plus, getting to see the interview from the side of the person asking the questions has been extremely beneficial to my own job search. It has also been great getting to know all the people involved with student life and overall has been a fun and rewarding experience.

How did you get involved in a fraternity, and what is your favorite part about fraternity life?
When I was a freshman at Mines, the food at Slate was awful, so I would go to the fraternities to eat because they had good food, and I met a lot of the people and came to really enjoy the people involved in Greek life. Coming in to college, I had a negative view of fraternities after seeing what they are like at other larger schools, but now three years later I am running the Inter-Fraternal Council and couldn’t imagine not being in a fraternity.

What is your favorite motto or quote?
“The True Gentleman.” That’s what I live by. It’s actually the creed of my fraternity and I strive to live by every word of it. I would recite the whole thing for you, but It’s almost 125 words long. So for the sake of space, I think “The True Gentleman” is the best way to summarize it.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?
I would have to go with a Siberian tiger. I’ve always liked them, especially since they’re white. I’ve always wanted a tiger as a pet, but between it being illegal, and the fact that tigers grow to be giant and deadly, I’ll pass on that dream.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Flying, I enjoy traveling so it would make that easier. Plus, flying is cool. If I had to pick another one, I would say the ability to multiply/be in two places at one time because I never seem to have enough time.

What is your favorite movie?
The Bond series is my all time favorite, and I actually made a theatre in my house. My roommates and my latest quest is to watch all the Bond movies before the new one comes out, but it is proving to be a tough task since there are so many and it takes a crazy long time to watch all 22 movies. I also really love Despicable Me; it’s a great movie.

What were you for Halloween this year?
I actually did not have a costume, but I helped a few of my roommates put together their costumes. They were the cast from Anchorman so that was pretty awesome.

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