Andrew Hatch Named as 2023 University Valedictorian

Published: April 18, 2023 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU University valedictorian Andrew HatchMechanical engineering major Andrew Hatch will represent Southern Utah University’s Class of 2023 as the university valedictorian. Originally from Mesa, Arizona, Hatch will graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in Spanish.

“In the beginning, I wasn’t really sure where to go before I found out about SUU,” said Hatch. “I loved that it was a smaller school in a place where there are great outdoor activities.

Growing up, Hatch was always big on playing sports: specifically basketball and volleyball. He also loves being outdoors and is passionate about his family and loves spending time with them. Along with his extracurricular activities, school has always been at the forefront of Hatch’s focus.

“Both my parents are teachers, so from a young age, learning and school were always important to me,” Hatch stated. “I think that helped me in college in terms of being accountable for my education and keeping up with those habits of going to class and doing homework.”

During his time at SUU, there have been many professors who have been a cornerstone for Hatch’s learning experience in the mechanical engineering program. Two, in particular, stand out to him: Dr. Scott Munro, professor of engineering, and Dr. Ali Siahpush, professor of mechanical engineering. Both challenged Hatch in extending his limits, while offering support along the way.

“Drew is an exceptional student with outstanding grades resulting from diligent work,” said Dr. Siahpush. “As a person, he is well-balanced, intelligent, and self-disciplined. He is mentally and physically tough, and he sets the pace and expectations for other colleagues and raises the standards. He works well in collaboration with others, and his collaborators often look to him as a leader. I have the utmost respect for how he conducts his professional life, and I believe that he has a bright future ahead of him. Given his outstanding qualities as a research student, I am sure that he will be successful in any academic and engineering endeavor.”

SUU has helped Hatch in more ways than just academics–he’s worked in the Tutoring Center for the last three years helping his fellow students with their assignments. This position has helped him discover his passion for helping others.

“I’ve loved working one-on-one with my fellow students and watching them learn to solve problems,” said Hatch. “From a career standpoint, I think this has made me want to do something along the lines of training or teaching in the field of engineering. I’ve seen how much it means to me to help other people.”

Hatch has also had some real-life experience in the field due to an internship with the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, in their water resources department.

Along with being valedictorian, one of Hatch’s greatest accomplishments during his time at SUU has been maintaining good grades for all four years.

“In hindsight, it makes all the hours I spent studying worth it,” said Hatch. “I’m also really proud of the connections I’ve made on campus–not just with my classmates and people in my major, but also with my professors and other friends. I didn’t know anybody when I first came here, but now it feels like I have a family at SUU. I’m really appreciative of all my professors, classmates, and friends who helped me get to this point. It’s definitely been a journey, and it shows me that it was all worth it.”

For Hatch, one of the biggest life lessons he learned in college has been learning to balance school and real life; be it jobs, responsibilities, and social aspects. But Hatch agrees that it is possible to find that balance and maintain it.

Following graduation, Hatch intends to get a job in the engineering field and start working as soon as he can.

“I definitely will take what I learned here at SUU into my career, and go forward from there,” Hatch stated.

For incoming Thunderbirds and college students in general, Hatch offers his advice; “I love the Tutoring Center, so make sure to utilize that–it’s an awesome resource and everyone there wants to help you. Don’t be afraid to go ask for help, whether that’s from a professor, a classmate, or the Tutoring Center. And don’t be afraid to do hard things: some classes may seem so rough, but you will make it through.”

Southern Utah University’s Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. in the America First Event Center. The Commencement Ceremony is open to all graduating students and their guests. Tickets are not required, but graduates and their families will be given priority seating.

Visit SUU’s graduation website for a full schedule of events.

Tags: College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Graduation Engineering

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