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Callyn Zeigler '23
After a year of undergraduate studies, Bucklew Scholar Callyn Zeigler is already blazing trails in the WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
Zeigler, a Charleston, W.Va. resident, is studying computer engineering with an emphasis in cybersecurity. She also minors in computer science and mathematics.
She knew she enjoyed computer science when she took courses throughout her four years at George Washington High School, but she didn’t initially consider computer engineering as a career option. Ultimately, a personality test steered her in the direction of engineering as a career.
“I knew I really liked math, and computer engineering is kind of the best of both worlds,” she said. “There’s so much you can do with computer science, and new jobs appear as everything changes.”
Zeigler is intrigued with how cyberattacks are handled and hopes to have a future career in cyber incident response.
She is heavily involved in several student organizations across campus. She is her pledge class president for Omega Phi Alpha, the university’s only community service sorority. She serves as an ambassador for the WVU Statler College, a secretary of the Institute for Electronical and Electronics Engineers, a historian for the Society for Women Engineers, and a member of Cyber WVU—WVU’s cyber defense club.
In the free moments she has, she even makes time for dance technique courses from the WVU Dance Program and is a member of the WVU Student Dance Association.
“The WVU Dance Program is amazing,” she said. “I loved that I could still continue dancing in college.”
Due to the large number of West Virginia residents at WVU, Zeigler didn’t know if she wanted to follow the crowd. She toured universities up and down the east coast, but she soon learned why WVU was such a popular destination. At the Bucklew Scholars’ dinner, she knew she had found her home.
“The president came up to me and knew me by name,” she said. “Everyone was very welcoming, and I just loved everything that the campus had to offer.
She felt most at home in the Engineering Sciences building, thanks to the hub of activities that fill the halls.
“Every time I walk through there, I just see everyone hanging out and talking about different projects,” she said. “You can just see so many people you’ve met through clubs and classes, and I don’t think the environment is the same anywhere else.”
In addition to the Bucklew Scholarship, she has also earned the Engineering Excellence Level 1 Scholarship and a WVU Statler College Student Ambassador Scholarship. She said her scholarships virtually took away any future debt, and the feeling of being taken care of with this funding is priceless.
“I don’t have to worry about—in the future—trying to pay that off,” she said. “It’s so nice going to school and not having to worry about the future—and just being able to live in the moment.”
Though the setbacks of COVID-19 may create challenges for the upcoming school year, Zeigler has an extremely positive mindset, and still has goals to become involved in hands-on computer science research within the college.