Meet Ashlynn Burgess

Ashlynn Burgess

Hometown: Eagle River, Alaska

Major: Electrical Engineering

In high school, I had the opportunity to begin my college career early by taking a few classes at University of Alaska Anchorage. Afterward, I was recruited to play basketball at Wenatchee Valley College. I played alongside one of my best friends who was a big influence in my decision to come to Washington. Two years later, Seattle Pacific University started recruiting me for their basketball team and organized meetings with a few professors for me.

At the time I had yet to declare my major, but I knew I wanted to be in a health science or engineering discipline. Once I committed to Seattle Pacific, I began taking engineering courses, which helped me to solidify my decision. I took “Circuits I” during my first quarter and from there I knew the Electrical Engineering major was for me!

As a student athlete, I have had such positive experiences with my engineering professors. They have shown me tremendous amounts of support — even by attending my games.

I got a lot out of Gina Howe’s class, Power Systems. It was enjoyable to learn about microgrids in Alaska and how power transmission and distribution works.

I wish I could have taken more classes from Dr. John Lindberg and Dr. John Hossler. Dr. Lindberg engaged students by stopping to ask questions and had interesting demonstrations. I only took his “Electricity and Magnetism” class, but I could tell Dr. Lindberg is passionate about what he teaches. The class I took with Dr. Hossler was during the pandemic when we were fully online. Dr. Hossler really put effort into making classes interactive for his students, even over Zoom. His passion for math made me want to learn more.

My faculty advisor, Dr. Melani Plett, has been a mentor to me and is always someone I felt I could go to when I was struggling. I am very thankful that we could connect over a walk and talk, where she would not only encourage me in my studies, but also in my faith. I feel very blessed to know women in engineering such as Dr. Plett, Professor Howe, and Dr. Lin Liu. Before SPU, I did not know many engineers who were women — thankfully now I do!

Overall, my experience in SPU’s engineering program has been positive and challenging. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that some of my favorite classes were the ones that challenged me the most.

Challenges and growth have been the focal point of my time at SPU. In my three years here, I met many people that I hope to remain friends with for years to come. There were days during which I had felt I wanted to give up, but it was the people around me who encouraged me to keep going. My basketball teammates, coaches, professors, classmates, and friends at SPU have been a blessing and strength to me. We are so much stronger when we are surrounded by a community that believe in us. I found that community here at SPU.