A&GS Outstanding Senior 2019-2020 – Annalisa Sanfilippo
Each year the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences awards one graduating senior within the college the Outstanding Senior award. For the 2019-2020 school year, Annalisa Sanfilippo was selected for this honor. Annalisa will graduate with a BS in meteorology with special distinction and a minor in aerospace studies, this spring (2020).
When Annalisa got the news of her award, she was shocked, “I immediately felt like there were so many others deserving of this award. I am proud to be part of the SoM and confident I chose the right school for me. I feel humbled, honored, and proud to have been selected! I am grateful for all of the incredible opportunities the SoM has made available to me. When I was presented the award, Dean Moore informed me that I am the first person to be a commissioned officer and an Outstanding Senior; I am super excited to represent OU ROTC as well.”
Her journey with meteorology began at a young age. She said she remembers learning cloud names in the first grade and eventually chose OU after 18 college visits. She told us, “I learned about the OU School of Meteorology probably when I was nine years old and convinced myself that I was going to OU then. I always pictured myself going to OU, but it wasn’t until I visited that I truly knew OU was where I belonged. I visited 18 schools and applied to 11, but nothing compared to the warm welcome I received from the professors and faculty I spoke with when I came to visit OU. Also, the National Weather Center provides incredible facilities for students to learn and flourish; a large reason I chose OU.”
In her time thus far at OU, Annalisa has been able to participate in the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program and study abroad. She said, “I have had a few highlights in my undergraduate career! In terms of meteorology, studying abroad at the University of Reading in England was absolutely amazing. I made great memories, lifelong friends, and got to gain an appreciation for meteorology in other parts of the world. One of the biggest highlights of my university career was being selected for the United States Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training. I have been a cadet in Air Force ROTC for the entirety of college and being selected for pilot training was a dream come true. During the Summer of 2019, I earned my Private Pilot License and that was another highlight!”
She wasn’t able to get this far in her college career without overcoming obstacles. The meteorology curriculum is a challenge, and combined with Annalisa’s work with ROTC and study abroad, she has overcome a lot, “I would say the biggest obstacle for me was transitioning back into the School of Meteorology after my time abroad. Being away from the SoM and AFROTC for a semester allowed me to learn what free time was, but transitioning back was challenging. Additionally, the initial transition to university life was challenging. Moving to and adjusting to an entirely different part of the country was a new experience for me, but coming to OU is still one of the best decisions I have made. In general, I would say that the School of Meteorology in itself is a challenge. Succeeding in difficult and demanding classes on top of Air Force ROTC has required a lot of time and dedication.”
Annalisa will receive a $1000 John W. Nichols Scholarship and her name will be added to a permanent plaque outside the A&GS Dean’s office on the third floor of the NWC.
Congratulations on a successful four years at OU!