For my challenge, I chose "Advance Personalized Learning." I believe that this is the single most important Grand Challenge of the 21st century, as all of modern society is built upon an educated population. Education is the oil that preserves the engine of a functioning civilization.
As part of my Grand Challenge, I spent several years working at the Louisiana Tech BARC tutoring students in general mathematics and the first six courses of engineering calculus. While helping dozens of students, I realized that tutoring was helping me the most. Students approach problems from many different perspectives; some of them even surprised me with new methods and helped me solve my own problems with greater efficiency. As I graduated into the "real world," I learned that technical competency and effective communication are the two most important traits of an engineer. My tutoring helped me with both.
For the global component of the Grand Challenge Program, I completed an internship with Senator Mary Landrieu in Washington, D.C. It was probably the most unique experience I've ever had. I learned the importance of the legislative process, how business in Washington D.C. is actually conducted, and how important it is to be involved in the political process. Everyone should take at least 5 minutes a week to call or email your congressional representative! Collectively, it makes a huge difference!
As of 2015, I am working at Texas Instruments as an Application Engineer supporting standard logic integrated circuit devices, including logic gates, flip flops, signal-conditioning buffers, analog signal multiplexers, and more. These devices are part of almost every electronic device used today, and electronics engineers come to me for guidance on appropriate device selection for their systems, understanding of device functions, or troubleshooting. Effective communication and customer education is key here - as the engineer and I must both have the proper pieces of the puzzle to understand how to get their systems working.