Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Elizabeth Leslie
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 Elizabeth Leslie!
Elizabeth is originally from Alexandria, Virginia and has always loved weather. Her neighbor, also a meteorologist, was the one who inspired her to pursue a degree in meteorology. He would bring over weather posters, let her tour his office, and even spoke to her Girl Scout troop. Growing up on the East Coast, Elizabeth experienced a lot of tropical weather and Derechos and was absolutely petrified of any kind of bad weather. This fear drove her to become a meteorologist. She knew that she wanted to go somewhere completely different than her home state for college. After a lot of research and a few college tours, she knew OU would be her home. She had the opportunity to take a tour of the National Weather Center with Pat Hyland and talk with Shelby Hill and Dr. Parsons. This visit sold her on OU, even if it meant she would have to move over 1,000 miles to pursue her degree.
While at OU, Elizabeth enjoyed being involved in various student organizations. During her first week of school, she attended an OWL shift with many new students. This shift inspired her to become involved with OWL and she later became a student shift leader and also Director of Outreach for the remaining three years at OU. In addition, she was able to be a weather friend for the first time at the National Weather Festival in 2016 and carried on this role throughout her undergrad. Her superhero name was “Swirl Girl” and she was able to teach children (and sometimes their parents) about severe weather safety. For the last two years of her undergrad, she served as Outreach Coordinator for the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association (SCAN), which included coordinating Weather Friend events. Outside of the school of meteorology, she was also involved in Alpha Sigma Kappa: Women in Technical Studies, which is a social sorority for women pursuing a technical major. Elizabeth greatly appreciated her time with ASK and thanks all her sisters for supporting her in the last four years.
Taking meteorology classes was always a dream for Elizabeth, but math was difficult for her. She started in pre-calc and even had to retake Calculus III, but she never gave up and always pushed forward. Getting through these classes was a lot of work for her, but she was not going to let this get in the way of her dreams. She took advantage of summer classes and worked hard to stay on track. Her favorite part of being an OU student was that she gave tours of the National Weather Center. This inspired her to pursue a communication minor because she enjoys working with the public and communicating weather information to them. Showcasing the National Weather Center to visitors was a dream come true for her because that building was the deciding factor for her to attend OU. She especially enjoyed giving tours to children and prospective students.
Elizabeth is extremely thankful to her mentors and everyone who has supported her in this journey. She couldn’t have done it without all of you!