Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Madisyn Farris
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 Madisyn Farris! She says her interest in weather began in eighth grade, “In my eighth-grade physical science class, I learned about the different types of clouds for the first time. The classifications based on height, shape, color, and precipitation were so interesting to me that it made me want to pursue meteorology to learn even more about the clouds and the weather that they produced. Ever since, I have always been fascinated with any type of clouds and weather that occurs from them, such as rain, hail, and tornadoes of course.”
Madisyn always knew the School of Meteorology was the place for her, “The University of Oklahoma is renowned for its prestige meteorology program at the National Weather Center. It was the best opportunity for me to learn what I wanted about the subject as well as get hands-on experience with the many different internships and clubs offered at the National Weather Center. The university made me love meteorology all over again and helped me fully understand the different processes and mechanisms that go into the atmosphere to create the wonderful weather phenomena that we get to witness on a day to day basis.”
Earning a meteorology degree is no easy task, but Madisyn was up for the challenge, “Junior year the students take the three of the toughest classes at the same time. They are all known for their workload and learning difficulty. This semester was incredibly difficult for me and deterred me for a moment that made me want to not finish college. But I remembered what I was doing this program for. I remembered my passion for meteorology and my determination to be the first among my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I wanted to make my family proud, but most of all I wanted to be able to look back on this experience and my difficulties and be proud of myself as well. I was able to finish that semester and overcome my challenges and learned to not let something deter me from my goals.”
With such a large desire to learn, some of Madisyn’s favorite parts of college were learning from the professionals. “My favorite thing about being a student at OU was being able to learn and hear from the faculty and staff throughout the National Weather Center. The teachers taught us subjects they were passionate about and in doing so, inspired that same passion in me about those subjects. The research they’re conducting gave me hope for the future of meteorology and makes me look forward to seeing how things will change and become more innovative as technology advances. Another thing I loved about being a student here was the opportunities to expand my knowledge through hands-on internships and clubs. If I would have gone to any other university, I wouldn’t have been able to have the opportunity to apply for these internships, such as the Storm Prediction Center’s Career Experience. I was also able to participate in TORUS, where I traveled the Midwest chasing supercells for field research,” she said.
These uncertain times have left Madisyn and many others in a tough position following graduation, “I’m hopeful that in the future when companies begin to open back up that I will be able to pursue my dream of becoming a meteorology forecaster to be able to inform and prepare my community for day to day weather phenomena.”
The School of Meteorology is proud of everything Madisyn has accomplished in her time as an undergraduate. Congratulations Madisyn!