Blake Howle

Blake Howle

Blake Howle is a mechanical engineering major from Union Hill, IL

Hometown: Union Hill, IL

Year: Expected graduation: 2026

Major: Mechanical Engineering

What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received an NIU merit scholarship and a Kovacevich Scholarship because I am in good standing academically.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
I didn't know what I wanted to be when growing up. The only thing I knew about was a career in the military because many members of my family have served.

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is mechanical engineering because it will help me follow my passion of additive manufacturing.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I have found the community is very accepting, and there’s lots of different events all around campus.

How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Yes, I had made a physics study session, and I’ve made a couple of friends.

Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I have joined two clubs on campus, Engineers Without Borders and Aerospace Club. Yes, they have added to my experience as a Huskie because of the volunteer work we do.

What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The honors office has helped me because I was able to get a well-rounded education, and just advising is helpful because I get confused on what I need to get full university honors.

What Honors Program opportunities or support have helped you get closer to your academic or career goals so far?
It has helped me get a well-rounded education with the different courses that are provided and fill out the requirements outside of my major.

What do you enjoy the most about the Honors Program?
I have really enjoyed the diverse courses that are available.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Shane Sharp taught the honors seminar HON 300-1: The Study of God. He let us answer the questions posed by the books and also helped us understand the subtext and terminology of the books.

How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
If I didn't attend, the material would go over my head because the courses I'm taking are hard.

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the Engineering Building. There’s a feeling I get when I'm there; I feel like I have made it.

What advice would you give to a student who is researching colleges to apply to?
To look for the program you want and if the college has a good program for you. If they don't, then look somewhere else. It's your investment, so make sure your money is not going to waste. Don't regret how your college experience went because the course or program you took wasn't good.

Why is a college education important to you?
College provides engineers with a strong foundation in fundamental principles of science and engineering. This knowledge forms the basis for their understanding of complex engineering concepts and problem-solving skills. It also will give me opportunities for research and internships to get experience.

What strategies do you use to manage your time between the responsibilities of school, work, friends and family?
I just write my work down, and between classes I try to finish work early. Then on the weekends, I try to hang out with friends or family if I can go home.

How do you stay informed about events and services that are available on campus?
I check my email and pay attention to the flyers on campus.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I play video games or read to relax.

Please tell us about your job and hobbies.
I make props with my 3D printers. I also read quite a bit, and I play video games.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
With Engineers Without Borders, I went on a summer trip to Guatemala for two weeks. I volunteered on a construction project to rebuild a house for a family, and it was an amazing experience. I helped with every step, from deconstruction to the end results. I helped level the ground, painted the metal sheeting and dug the holes for the concrete and support posts. I also helped hang the ceiling sheeting and the walls, then mixed the concrete, poured it and leveled it to make the floor.

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