Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Maci Gibson

Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Maci Gibson

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 Maci Gibson! Maci started her college career and eventually made her way to Norman in 2017. Maci tells her story:

“I grew up on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas where severe weather took over every spring and summer. We lived by three huge wheat fields (typical Kansas) so I was able to sit on our back porch and watch storm after storm roll by with a perfect view. I can remember being scared of storms when I was younger and being glued to the TV to watch the storm coverage, but eventually that turned into fascination and it hasn’t left me since. Although I always had an interest in severe weather, when my family moved to Oklahoma in 2011 I started to take a path towards being a doctor. My first year of college, I ended up at the University of Tulsa where I would stay for two years as a biology/pre-med major, but on March 30th, 2016 I watched an EF-2 tornado pass by from less than a mile away and I was hooked. Within the next two months, I applied to OU, toured the campus and National Weather Center, and immediately fell in love with it. The beauty of the South Oval, the all you can eat Chick-fil-a, and knowing that I would get to attend class in the same building as the Storm Prediction Center were just a few of the things that sold me on transferring here.

“In the past three years, the biggest hurdle for me to get over was dealing with mental health. From the oftentimes overwhelming load of coursework to maintaining jobs/internships and extracurriculars, this major is no joke. Imposter syndrome was a very real thing that I experienced while going through this program, but I was fortunate enough to have the support of incredible family, friends, and faculty. In fact, some of my meteorology classmates are who I consider my closest friends and they are without a doubt my favorite part of being an OU student. I also enjoyed being a part of two research teams, one being PRES2iP (led by Dr. Elinor Martin) and the other being with CIMMS and NSSL (led by Brandon Smith). My favorite memory while at OU is traveling to Boston, Massachusetts for the 100th Annual AMS Conference, where my group of friends and I got to stay together for a week while hearing from the top researchers in meteorology and networking with people we likely would not have been able to meet in-person otherwise!

“As for post-graduation plans, I am taking a year off to find a job in the field which will allow me to gain working experience and also pinpoint exactly what I want to research in grad school. My ultimate goal is to continue my education while researching severe storms using radar and close-range observations. Although I’ll miss putting on that blue National Weather Center lanyard every time I get to the building, I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the best meteorology school in the country and also make so many fun memories along the way!

Congratulations Maci on all you have overcome and accomplished in your time at OU! The School of Meteorology is looking forward to watching you grow as a meteorologist in whatever you do!