Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Max Ungar

Senior Spotlight May 2020 – Max Ungar

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 Max Ungar! Like many of his peers, he has been interested in meteorology since he was very young. He says, “The event that sparked my interest in weather was the EF-5 tornado that impacted Greensburg, KS on May 4th, 2007. Media images showing the extent of the devastation left behind truly gripped my fascination. Ever since that moment, I’ve had nothing short of an obsession with the weather, particularly severe weather. For me, there’s never been much debate, meteorology has always been the career path I’ve wanted to go down.”

When Max was searching for the perfect place to attend college, he says the National Weather Center tipped the scales. ” Though I considered several other meteorology programs, my tour of the National Weather Center in the summer of 2015 sealed my decision to attend OU. There truly is no place like it anywhere in the United States. Between the School of Meteorology, multiple national laboratories, and the federal agencies (SPC & WFO Norman), I knew the opportunities to get involved would be numerous. Additionally, in my meetings with the School of Meteorology faculty, it was clear I would be both challenged and supported through my undergraduate career. Together, these factors would make me a well-prepared meteorologist once I completed my undergraduate education.”

The School of Meteorology brings in students from all over the US and the world, and oftentimes moving far from home is the hardest thing students have to face. Max said, “The largest obstacle I overcame in my time at OU was the initial move away from home in the fall of 2016. Moving 800 miles from Indianapolis, Indiana to Norman, OK was a shock at first, and I had moments of doubt about whether I’d be able to ever adjust to the move. However, once I made personal connections and got involved within the National Weather Center, this uneasiness quickly melted away. ”

After making OU his home away from home, there are so many things to love about being an OU student, “I feel truly fortunate to have attended OU for so many reasons. The first being the first-class education in meteorology that each one of my professors helped deliver. While every class had its unique challenges, it all helped me grow as an undergraduate student and will serve me well long into my career. I’m also fortunate for the opportunities afforded me with other agencies in the building. During my time at OU, I worked with the ARM DQO Office/CIMMS as well as with the Storm Prediction Center. These experiences outside of the classroom were invaluable opportunities that expanded my professional skillset. Finally, I’ll be forever grateful for the friends I’ve made during my time at OU. I want to thank every one of you for always being there and pushing me to be my best. I’ll miss the late-night study sessions in the library, spending time watching storms on the O-deck, and collectively yelling at the OU defense when they couldn’t get a third-down stop. Even though we’ll soon be going our separate ways, these are experiences we’ll never forget.”

Max’s desire to learn does not stop after graduation. “While I’m disappointed that senior year isn’t finishing as expected, I’m excited to be coming back in the fall to pursue my M.S. in Meteorology with the School of Meteorology. Norman, Oklahoma, and the National Weather Center are truly my homes away from home, and I’m excited to begin the next phase of my academic journey in the fall,” he said.

Congratulations Max! We are excited to see you back here in the fall and continue to watch you thrive on your educational journey.