Civil Engineering student Elgin Burton decided to attend Mizzou after meeting with recruiters at his high school in East St. Louis, Illinois, deciding to visit, and “falling in love with the campus.” Once he arrived, Burton got involved in a number of organizations. He is currently the president of the national award-winning Timber Bridge Team. He is also T.O.R.C.H (Technical Outreach Community Help) chair for Mizzou’s chapter the National Society of Black Engineers. Once he graduates in May 2018, Burton plans on a career in transportation engineering.
Burton says, “The Engineering Library is a huge resource to me in more ways than one. The obvious one is that there are books here that I can use for all of my classes. The one I just turned in today, I used for my class all semester.”
Burton also likes that that the Engineering Library is a gathering place for his classmates. “This is a place where I do a lot of my studying, so I meet a lot of people here who are also studying the same things. A lot of collaboration happens here. Whenever I am working on a project, we usually meet in the Engineering Library. If I am struggling with a problem, I can usually find people who can help me solve it here. Or I’ll see somebody in my class, introduce myself, and ask how they are solving the problem. I meet many people in different ways at the Engineering Library. There is not another space in the building like that. ”
One of Burton’s favorite Mizzou memories is getting to know the libraries. “it was almost an oddly intimate relationship I had with Ellis and other libraries like the Math Library and [the Engineering Library], because I was completely new to the experience—I was new to Columbia, Missouri, I was new to college, I was new to a research library of that size—and over the course of my college career, Ellis Library especially became my home away from my apartment, where I feel most comfortable on campus.”
If there was one piece of advice that Burton could give to future students, Burton says, it would be to use your resources. He acknowledges that “it can be difficult to tell new students to take advantage of your resources because they might not know about them, but the best thing to do is just to open up to opportunities and be willing to try new things. Getting involved in organizations relevant to your degree gives you contextual information and it gives you a sense of purpose. ‘I am here doing this. I am here making this change.’”
“You leave a lasting impact on the university. It also leaves a lasting impact on you.”