Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Joshua Schank
This year we are continuing our tradition of Senior Spotlights! With graduation postponed, it is more important than ever to highlight this spring’s graduating class.
The class of May 2020 is experiencing their last few weeks of college unlike any of those who came before them. It has been a tough time, but the seniors are adapting to new ways of learning and are continuing to celebrate their accomplishments thus far.
Meet Joshua Schank! When asked what inspired him to become a meteorologist, he has a go-to story. He told us, “My interest in meteorology was definitely started when I was seven and I watched the formation of a tornado from my front porch about 30 miles north of Kansas City, MO. This is the typical story that I tell for this question. However, what kept my desire alive as I grew up was how I got the reputation from both my classmates and teachers as being the guy to talk to if you wanted to know the weather or the latest forecast. Though I was not the greatest forecaster at the time and usually only relayed the NWS forecasts, they kept my interest in meteorology alive and pushed me to strive for it as a degree.”
To pursue his childhood dream, Joshua says he knew OU would be the best school for him, “I always heard great things about OU and when I first visited the National Weather Center I knew this was the place for me. This feeling in younger me was probably driven by how OU was the only university that I actually visited.”
In his time at OU, he was involved in many student organizations, he even helped create the new OWL website! “Being involved in the Oklahoma Weather Lab (OWL) and being its Director of Development I think is my favorite part. OWL made me a better forecaster and becoming the Director of Development really pushed me to learn new skills like web design,” he said.
Though Joshua has been successful here, it didn’t come without struggles. He said, “College was the first time I was ever away from home and family for a long period of time. It also did not help that I have a twin brother who has never left my side my entire life, so being homesick was my biggest challenge.”
Joshua says that he doesn’t have any concrete plans for after graduation, but he plans to continue his passion for weather forecasting and is moving forward with the job hunt!