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Staying Connected During the Pandemic

Posted on: October 09, 2020 in Student Stories by Michael Mahi
Civil Engineering Student Inspired by his Father to Create Safe Environments

Arkilles Joshua Jr. spent a recent fall day with other students in an engineering survey lab calculating the elevation around Pollak Library.

This scene is usually a usual school day for civil engineering majors at Cal State Fullerton as they learn how to use GPS technology to plot and survey land.

But not much is typical these days.

The campus has moved to mostly virtual courses with about 300 in-person classes scheduled per week because of the pandemic.

Arkilles Joshua Jr. uses GPS technology as part of an engineering survey lab. Students doing research and labs are on campus during the pandemic. Most courses are online. Photos by Matt Gush

Joshua Jr. is among those taking courses on a campus that usually is home to thousands of people working toward a degree or providing students with resources and services.

“I am currently only taking one class on campus, which is the engineering survey lab,” Joshua Jr. said. “My group and I were using a GPS set. With the GPS set, we enlisted the support of satellites to locate our traverse points around the Pollak Library and calculate the elevation.”

The civil engineering major said his father inspired him to pursue an engineering degree.

“Ever since I was younger, I would work with my dad on various house projects as a handyman,” he said. “I was always fascinated with the tools that he would use and learning firsthand about the processes and structures that go into building a house.”

 He said his favorite part of working with his dad was seeing how satisfied his customers were with the completed work.

“Now, I pursue civil engineering to create safe environments for communities and companies to give them the same satisfaction,” he said.

When he isn’t taking a course in-person or online, he spends time self-reflecting with family and immersing himself in his music production and songwriting hobbies. 

“My advice for people during this pandemic is to stay connected,” he said. “Stay connected to your family, your friends, and your passions. Stay connected with your purpose and if you have a belief in God, stay connected with Him. Just make sure to keep these connections.”

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Michael Mahi

Michael Mahi is the Senior Director of Digital Media.

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